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Asbestos safety

Asbestos is the name given to a group of minerals that are found naturally in many parts of the world. It is mined and processed into small fibres that are strong, flexible, and resistant to both fire and chemicals. For these reasons it has been used in a wide range of building materials and products, particularly during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s.

As long as asbestos is in good condition and isn’t disturbed or damaged, there is little risk. However, if it is disturbed or damaged it can become a danger to health because asbestos fibres are released into the air and can be breathed in.

Asbestos in the home

The use of asbestos in the manufacturing of products has been banned since 1999. However, most of our properties were built before then. This means building materials and other products containing asbestos may have been used.

As asbestos has been used widely and is a natural substance, there are very low levels of fibres in the air everywhere. This is unlikely to harm your health. The risk that any asbestos found in the home will be harmful is low.

Take extra care when doing DIY

DIY work can disturb asbestos containing materials causing brief, but high levels of exposure. If you think a material might contain asbestos - don’t disturb it.

This is why you must request permission from Berneslai Homes before carrying out work on your home.

If you’re planning to carry out any DIY home improvements within your home, or employing your own contractor to carry out work, it’s essential that you know, and share, the location of any asbestos first. The asbestos register for your home can be requested from us by emailing asbestos@berneslaihomes.co.uk

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) strongly encourages the use of trained professionals to repair or remove asbestos containing materials.

Asbestos materials that are in good condition are usually best left where they are. Removing them can lead to fibres being released into the air. Check the condition of asbestos materials from time to time and make sure they have not become damaged or have started to deteriorate.

If you think you may have products that contain asbestos in your home, get advice from your housing management officer before taking any action.

The list below shows some of the places where asbestos can be found in a home. This list isn’t exhaustive and there may be other areas where it could be located.


  • Gutters and downpipes
  • Soffits and facias
  • Exterior window panels
  • Roof sheets
  • Wall panels
  • Roofing felt


  • Water tank
  • Pipe lagging
  • Loose fill insulation
  • Textured decorative coatings (Artex)
  • Ceiling tiles
  • Bath panel
  • Toilet seat and cistern
  • Panel behind fuse box
  • Panels within airing cupboard
  • Partition walls
  • Interior window panels
  • Boxing around boiler
  • Vinyl floor tiles
  • Panels behind fire

Registered address:

10th floor, Gateway Plaza, off Sackville St, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, S70 2RD

Berneslai Homes Limited is a company controlled by Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council. A company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales, number 4548803