The COVID-19 pandemic is in full swing, as a result, much of the country is in complete lockdown while we work together to flatten the curve and beat coronavirus before it consumes any more of our lives and resources.
For most of us, this crisis means one thing – staying at home. This poses its own set of unique challenges, one of which is the sheer amount of extra resources you’ll be using.
More time at home means more electricity, gas, and water is being used. As such, there are undoubtedly going to be complications that arise with our utilities during the lockdown.
Here, we explore a few of these potential complications in detail, hopefully clearing up a few things in the process.
Reports and checks
Whilst under lockdown, you might rightly assume that it would be irresponsible to have a verified engineer inspect your property and its utilities. However, if you have an EIC (electrical installation condition) report scheduled then we would urge you not to delay it any longer than strictly necessary.
The same is true of a boiler inspection, at least for homeowners. For tenants, however, there are stringent government regulations in place starting that landlords should only be allowed to access properties to sort urgent repairs.
In a time when so many of us are forced home and will be using more gas at this time of year than we typically would, gas safety has rarely been as important.
Even during a time of global crisis, we still have gas-safe engineers ready to leap into action, should they be required. They have all been fully briefed on social distancing measures and will maintain optimum distance from you and your family.
Our electrical engineers and plumbers are also on standby in case of an emergency, because even when you’re unable to leave your home, our ‘key workers’ are here to keep you safe and comfortable in your homes.
Landlords and tenants
Of course, if you are living in a private rental property (as 20% of the UK are currently) then it should be up to the landlord to make every effort to ensure that gas and electrical safety regulations are being followed to the letter, a letter which is set to change on 1 July 2020.
From this date onwards, landlords will be legally obligated to provide tenants with necessary gas and electrical safety and any other relevant certification documents at the beginning of a tenancy.
Of course, in every case, there should always be at least 2 metres of distance between any engineers, landlords and the residents. If it is impossible for some reason to keep your distance then you should always use common sense and reschedule your appointment.
The only situations in which you should be calling for an engineer should be if there is a fault that’s rendering your home unsafe and is posing a significant health risk to you and your family.
Otherwise, it’s going to be very much a case of battening down the hatches and making the best of a bad situation until the world decides to fix itself.
But rest assured that in the event of a true emergency, assistance is still available, though note that vulnerable customers will always be prioritised.