Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Legionella checks could be vital

Most people associate Legionnaires’ Disease with exotic climates or big hotels and conference or leisure centres.

But it can be much closer to home than you think - quite literally if you have a wet air conditioning system, swimming pool, or open water tanks in your property.

If the property is let, to comply with the Health and Safety Executive’s Code of Practice, landlords need to ensure that the risk of exposure to legionella in the property is properly controlled and where necessary carry out a risk assessment prior to letting.

Legionnaires’ Disease is the result of legionella bacteria infecting the lungs. It is usually contracted through breathing in small droplets of contaminated water. It is not contagious and cannot be spread directly from person to person.

Legionella bacteria is commonly found (often in harmlessly low numbers) in sources of water, such as rivers and lakes. However, the bacteria can rapidly multiply if they find their way into artificial water supply systems such as air conditioning.

Large buildings such as hotels, hospitals, museums and office blocks are more vulnerable to legionella contamination because they have larger, more complex water supply systems in which the bacteria can quickly spread. But with the increasing complexity of domestic properties, the threat should not be ignored.

Carter Jonas' heads of lettings and property managers have Legionnella and, Water Safety training and where they identify possible risk of Legionnaires’ Disease, will recommend an external consultant to carry out a risk assessment.

For more information visit The Health and Safety Executive’s Code of Practice.

Lisa Simon, 
Head of Residential Lettings
T: 020 7518 3234 
E: lisa.simon@carterjonas.co.uk

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