How DIO/Amey manage Radon in your Service family accommodation (SFA)
Radon is a naturally occurring, colourless and odourless gas. It is formed by the radioactive decay of the small amounts of uranium that occur naturally in all rocks and soils. Radon is everywhere: outdoors and indoors and we all breathe it in throughout our lives.
Radon can penetrate through cracks and fissures in the ground and enter into properties. Whilst every building has radon, certain geographical conditions can lead to higher than average levels and the concentration of radon indoors varies with the time of year, day to day. Radon is identified as a potential hazard in dwellings in the Housing Act 2004. Studies by the Health Protection Agency have produced evidence that this gas, if left to build up in properties, can increase the risk of developing lung cancer.
UK Radon Map
The Health Protection Agency has produced a map highlighting areas of the country where properties are more likely to have high radon levels. These include Devon, Cornwall, parts of Somerset, Northamptonshire and Leicestershire. Darker areas on the map indicate higher levels of radon.
How DIO/Amey manage Radon
DIO/Amey have a Radon Management Plan in place to manage the risk of radon in SFA and reduce levels where required. Our specialist contractor carries out all our radon related work including pod drops, collections, installations and servicing.
- We ask that you allow access to your home as requested for pods drops, collections, installation, servicing and maintenance
- To enable the equipment to work correctly, please do not switch off or tamper with any equipment installed
- Please report any faults to the Amey Customer Service Centre on 0800 707 6000 as soon as possible
Monitoring of radon is completed in all SFA within radon affected areas. Levels in homes are normally measured over the winter period when properties are less likely to be ventilated. Two pod detectors are left within properties for a minimum of three months, which allows for variations in levels. Pods are placed in the rooms you and your family use the most, usually the lounge and master bedroom.
The pods are safe and simple to use, they do not emit anything and do not collect anything dangerous. They can however, be damaged by heat or submersion in water and should not be opened.
The amount of radon is measured in becquerels per cubic metre of air (Bq/m-3). DIO/Amey take the following action based on the readings for each property:
- Readings below 100 Bq/m3 will be monitored on a 5 yearly basis
- Readings between 100 and 199 Bq/m3 will be monitored on a 3 yearly basis
- Readings of 200 Bq/m3 or more will have remediation equipment installed by DIO/Amey to reduce the levels to below 200 Bq/m3. Remediation will be monitored annually
If your property is included in the current tranche of testing, we will contact you by letter to confirm a date for pods to be dropped off and collected. There is an option for pods to be posted through the letterbox with instructions for placement if you are not available on the drop date. The specialist contractor can also arrange to issue a Freepost envelope for you to return the pods if the offered collection date is not convenient.
Remediation Equipment – installation and servicing
Remediation works will be undertaken by fitting either a sump and pump or fan. The Positive Pressure System (PPS) consists of a loft fan which introduces fresh filtered air into the property, diluting the radon. These systems also improve air quality and can reduce condensation. We are currently phasing out the existing model and replacing with a Positive Input Ventilation unit (PIV) – a similar but more compact unit.
In some instances a Pump and Sump is installed which removes he gas from underneath the floor of the property and vents it into the atmosphere through a pipe.
Pods will be placed when the mitigation is installed and on an annual basis so that we can ensure that the equipment is working correctly to reduce the radon levels in the property. Information sheets should be provided at the time of Installation, available at Move In and upon request via the Amey Customer Service Centre.
Obtaining radon results from Amey
Radon results are available on request from Amey. Please put your request in writing, by e-mail or post, to our Customer Care Team and the results will be issued to you by post.
Further information relating to radon is available at http://www.ukradon.org or via the Amey SFA Brochure. Information on the different types of mitigation equipment are also available from the Amey Customer Service Centre on 0800 707 6000.