Home safety advice

Please take a few moments to read our safety advice. It could save your life, or the life of a loved one.

Follow the links below to find out more.

Fire safety

Key advice

  • Make sure you know where the fire escape routes are from your home and building.
  • If you see an object blocking any of the fire escapes, please move it if it is safe to do so, or report it to your caretaker.
  • Please do not leave fire doors wedged open.
  • Please do not store items in communal (shared) areas such as corridors and balconies
  • Install a smoke alarm within your property and test it regularly. It could save your life!
  • Make it a habit to keep the exits from your home clear, so that people can escape if there is a fire.
  • Make sure that everyone in your home can easily find the keys for doors and windows - always keep them in the same place.

If you discover a fire:

  • raise the alarm
  • leave the building immediately by the nearest available exit if it is safe to do so
  • move to a safe distance away from the building
  • phone the Fire Brigade by dialling 999 or 112 
  • remain a safe distance away from the building and await the Fire Brigade.

If the fire is in your home:

  • tell everyone in your home and get them to leave the building closing your front door behind you
  • move to a safe distance away from the building
  • call the Fire Brigade by dialling 999 or 112 asking for FIRE
  • remain a safe distance away from the building and await the Fire Brigade.

If you see or hear of a fire in another part of the building:

  • stay put in your home as this will usually be the safest option unless you are directly affected by the fire. Close all windows and be prepared to leave.
  • phone the Fire Brigade by dialling 999 or 112 and asking for FIRE.
  • you must leave the building immediately if smoke or fire directly affects your home or you are directed to do so by the Fire Brigade. Close your front door behind you.
  • move to a safe distance away the building, remain there and await the Fire Brigade.

Remember:

  • Do not take risks
  • Do not stop to collect personal belongings
  • Do not return to the building for any reason unless authorised to do so
  • Do not use any lift.

Gas safety

If you think you can smell gas:

  • put out any flames
  • do not touch any electrical appliances
  • open all windows and doors
  • leave the property.

Then call National Grid immediately on 0800 111999. Do not use your phone within the property.

We have a legal duty as your landlord to check gas appliances and flues are safe. We carry out an annual safety check at all tenant properties, along with an annual service of any gas appliance belonging to us. Gas leaks can be fatal. Our gas safety checks and servicing protect you, your family and your neighbours.

Please help us by letting us into your home on the first arranged appointment. We will contact you six to eight weeks before the check is due. If you cannot make the appointment for any reason, please contact us so that we rearrange it.

If we are not able to complete your gas service and safety check after several appointments, we will request court permission to force entry to your property.

Carbon monoxide

Carbon monoxide poisoning can be fatal and is caused by gas appliances and flues which have not been properly installed or maintained.

There are no obvious signs of carbon monoxide, you can't see, taste or smell it. The early symptoms of poisoning include tiredness, drowsiness, headaches and pains.

You are at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning if:

  • your gas appliance has been poorly installed
  • your appliance is not working properly
  • your appliance has not been checked for safety or maintained regularly
  • there is not enough fresh air in the room
  • your chimney or flue gets blocked up
  • you allow unqualified people to install or maintain your appliance.

Action you can take:

  • Always let us in to carry out your annual gas safety check.
  • Never use a gas appliance if you think it's not working properly. Signs to look out for include yellow or orange flames, soot or stains around the appliance and pilot lights which frequently blow out.
  • Never cover an appliance or block the convection air vents.
  • Never block or obstruct any fixed ventilation grills or air bricks.
  • Never block or cover outside flues.
  • Take care. Whenever draught exclusion, double glazing or a conservatory extension is fitted to a room containing a gas appliance, the appliance should be checked for safety afterwards.

Please contact us if you would like further advice.

 

Electrical safety

Almost half of all domestic fires are caused by electricity.

As your landlord it is our responsibility to ensure that the electrical wiring and fittings in your home are safe to use.

We carry out checks to the electrical wiring in your home every ten years to identify any defects or required repairs.

For your own safety, you should:

  1. take care of your own electrical appliances and visually check them regularly
  2. remember to switch off electrical appliances when they are not being used
  3. take care not to overload electrical sockets with plug adaptors as they can overheat and cause fires
  4. never touch electrical appliances or switches with wet hands
  5. never use mains powered electrical appliances in your bathroom.

If you have any questions about electrical safety, please contact us.

Asbestos

Asbestos was widely used in the construction industry in the 20th century. It is possible that some materials containing asbestos were used when your home was built or adapted.

We regularly carry out asbestos surveys on all of our properties and maintain a register to safely manage the risk of asbestos to you and your family.

We also maintain a register of where asbestos has been located, removed or is presumed present to ensure that we safely manage asbestos.

Asbestos fibres are only a danger to health if you breathe or swallow them. As long as asbestos is not damaged or located somewhere it can be easily damaged, it is not a risk to you.

Asbestos is very hard to identify. If you think that there may be some in your home, please leave it alone. It is safe unless damaged or disturbed. If you are in any doubt, please contact us.

If asbestos does need to be removed, this will be done by a qualified asbestos removal contractor. We will discuss with you how we can work together to do this as safely as possible.

For your safety you must:

  1. take precautions to avoid damaging anything that contains asbestos
  2. not carry out DIY on an area where you think asbestos is present
  3. ask us for permission before carrying out anything other than basic decoration work to your home
  4. soak wallpaper before stripping it and use a steam stripper if possible.

If you think that you find asbestos:

  1. don’t panic - it is safe unless disturbed or damaged
  2. do not try to remove it – this must be done by a specialist
  3. do not carry out any DIY on anything that you know or suspect to contain asbestos.

 

Water safety

Legionella bacteria is a common form of bacteria found in water systems. You can take steps to reduce the risk of bacteria multiplying.

The bacteria can multiply in temperatures between 20-45°C. This type of bacteria can cause Legionnaires’ disease which is a serious lung infection, caused by inhaling water droplets containing legionella bacteria.

Anyone can develop Legionnaires’ disease but vulnerable residents are most at risk, such as those with ill health or respiratory problems.

The symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease can be similar to flu and may include a high temperature, mild headaches, muscle pain, chills, tiredness and changes to your mental state.

To reduce and manage the risk of exposure to Legionella, we complete water safety risk assessments for all of our properties and communal stored water tanks. We also service and maintain our water systems regularly to ensure they are safe for you to use.

We recommend that you:

  1. regularly clean and disinfect showerheads
  2. inform us if your hot water is not working properly
  3. run water outlets that are rarely used for a couple of minutes every two weeks
  4. allow access to your home for a water safety risk assessment.

Please contact us if you would like us to carry out a water safety check on your home, or would like more information.