The information given is not exhaustive. Some of it is statutory and that is stated, other is good practice and should be adhered to.
Ministers and Church Workers living in church accommodation are effectively tenants. Therefore the Local Church and/or the Synod are their Landlord. It is a point of law that Landlords have a duty of care towards their Tenants and should ensure the environment they are living in is both healthy and safe. Therefore we must ensure that we meet legislation affecting Tenants and to follow good practice relating to rented accommodation.
Under Gas Safety Regulations all gas appliances (in rented accommodation) must be checked annually by an engineer on the Gas Safety Register. The scope of the legislation covers chimneys, flues, central heating systems, water heaters and cooking appliances. The engineer will issue a Landlord’s Gas Safety Certificate. The Occupier must be given a copy so they know it has been carried out. If actioned by the local church/pastorate they should keep a copy on file and a copy should be sent to the Synod Office. Carrying out a service of gas appliances is not sufficient.
If any equipment becomes defective it must be repaired immediately. All installations must be carried out by a qualified engineer and second hand equipment cannot be installed. Lastly, instruction manuals for all gas appliances must be made available to the occupier.
To ensure that legislation on safety is adhered to all electrical installations should be checked by a qualified electrician (NICEIC) at least once every five years. All electrical work should be carried out by a suitably qualified person and a certificate received where appropriate.
Smoke Alarms: There should be at least one fitted in each property. The Alarm should be tested regularly and the battery (if battery operated) should be changed at least annually or when the low battery indicator sounds (bleep). Ensure that the Alarm is kept clean. Smoke detectors should not be fitted in kitchens or bathrooms. For new properties and those that have been rewired the alarm should be a mains operated type connected to the electrical installation.
Fire Blanket: It is a good idea to have one fitted in the kitchen.
In the event of a fire, the Occupant(s) must vacate the premises and call the Fire Services.
Health & Safety
On an annual basis, a risk assessment should be carried out on the Manse, to ensure that there are no potential dangers or practises. One should use the five steps that the HSE (Health & Safety Executive) recommend:-
Step 1 Identify the hazard
Step 2 Decide who might be harmed and how
Step 3 Evaluate the risks and decide on precautions
Step 4 Record your findings and implement them
Step 5 Review your assessment and update if necessary
To ensure a Manse has a healthy and safe environment Occupiers should inform the person responsible for a Manse of anything they consider is dangerous or not conforming to Manse Policy.