Staying safe in your home is important to us, in this section you'll find advice about gas, fire and electrical safety and water hygiene and asbestos…
We must make sure any gas, oil and solid fuel appliances we provide in your home are safe and in good working order. By law, we must safety check these appliances every year.
Our Gas Safe registered contractors will contact you when your safety check is due and make an appointment to call. You can change an appointment if it is not convenient, but you must allow access for the safety check. If you don't, you could be putting yourself and everyone around you in danger. We can’t take that risk so, if we can’t gain access to your home to carry out the safety check, we may have to go to court to gain access. We’d rather not do this so help us to help you by letting our contractors in to carry out the safety check when it is due.
We are not responsible for the maintenance of any gas appliances you own, but we can’t stress how important it is for you to arrange your own service every year. It could save your life.
If you think you have a gas leak, turn off your gas at the meter, don’t smoke, don’t turn any light switches on or off and don’t use any naked flames. Open all your doors and windows and get some fresh air circulating.
Call the gas emergency number 0800 111 999.
If you're concerned that you've not had your annual gas safety test, and would like to know when your next test is due please contact us.
Unsafe gas appliances can leak lethal carbon monoxide gas. The gas can’t be seen and it has no smell.
We supply carbon monoxide detectors. If they detect the poisonous gas, they sound an alarm. If you don’t have a detector, let us know and we will fit one with our next safety check.
Even if you have a carbon monoxide detector, and your appliances are serviced regularly, if you feel ill, or you can smell gas, get fresh air immediately and call your doctor just to be on the safe side. Don’t use the appliance you think is faulty and call us immediately if it is our appliance (or a Gas Safe registered engineer if the appliance is your own).
We will need access to your home at least once every five years to carry out an electrical safety test. This will make sure all the electrical appliances in your home are safe and working properly. When your test is due, we will contact you to arrange an appointment.
Some homes may need a test more than once every five years, depending on the results of their last safety test.
If you're concerned that you've not recently had an electrical safety test, and would like to know when your next test is due please contact us.
Legionnaires disease is a form of pneumonia which can affect anyone.
It is caught by inhaling small drops of water which contain the legionella bacteria. Although it can affect anyone, the elderly or people with chest or lung problems can be most at risk.
All hot and cold water systems in residential properties are a possible source of legionella bacteria growth. The main areas of risk are where the bacteria can multiply and spread in things like, for example, spray from shower heads.
In line with our legal obligations, we regularly check, monitor and carry out tests in certain homes to make sure the water systems are clean.
If you think you, or someone in your home has contacted legionnaires disease, contact your doctor immediately.
If you live in one of our schemes or blocks, there will be a fire evacuation process which has been set by the local fire service.
There are two policies:
- A delayed evacuation (or 'stay put') policy.
- A single stage evacuation policy.
A delayed evacuation is used in buildings where a fire can be safely contained within a flat. If evacuation is required, those residents in the immediate area of the fire can evacuate first.
If your scheme has a delayed evacuation policy, and the alarm sounds and you are in your flat, close all your windows and doors and stay put. Your home will be designed to resist fire for 60 minutes. If people can stay safe by staying in their flats, the fire and rescue service can focus on extinguishing a fire without a causing panic. Only leave your flat if it is affected by fire or smoke or when you are advised to do so by the fire and rescue service.
But, if the fire is in your own flat or you are in a communal area when the alarm sounds you must leave immediately. Close the doors behind you, raise the alarm and call 999.
If your scheme has a single stage evacuation policy, it means you should leave your home and follow the green exit signs as soon as the fire alarm sounds, or if there is a fire in your own flat.
Regardless of what the policy is for your scheme, if you must leave, do not stop to collect any of your belongings, just leave as safely and as quickly as possible.
Follow the green exit signs in the building. Never use the lifts. Once you get outside, stay a safe distance away from the building and don’t go back inside until you are told it is safe to do so.
We have certain legal obligations when it comes to fire safety, and protecting our homes and our residents. These include:
- Carrying out fire risk assessments on your home.
- Carrying out fire risk assessments in communal areas to make sure escape routes are kept clear.
- Making sure your front door meets with current fire safety standards.
- Fitting special heat and smoke detectors. (If the detectors are linked to a fire panel, they will be checked by our contractors every year).
- Weekly tests of fire alarms in buildings that have a fire panel.
- Checking fire safety signage displayed around your building is up to da
To comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire safety) Order 2005, and to make sure we assess fire safety in each scheme, we carry out regular inspections, known as fire risk assessments. These checks and inspections are designed to make sure our communal areas are safe and comply with relevant fire legislation.
You might wonder why we are talking about mobility scooters around fire regulations, but the number of residents using them is rising. We know they can be a vital aid to mobility, but they are also classed as a fire risk. Please talk to us before you buy a mobility scooter, we will need to talk about where it is stored.
Most fire and rescue services offer a ‘Safe and Well visit’ which in some areas is known as a ‘Home Fire Risk Assessment’ or ‘Home Fire Safety Check’. This is an inspection of your home to identify any potential fire risks in your home, help you reduce or prevent these risks, and ensure you have working smoke alarms and an escape plan in the event of a fire. You can book these by contacting your local fire and rescue service.
Although there may be asbestos in your home, there is nothing to worry about as long as it is safe and undisturbed.
Asbestos was commonly used in the housebuilding industry until the mid 1980s, which is when we were building many homes. It was used because it had many good qualities; it was resistant to heat and fire, it was strong and durable and it didn’t corrode. It was often used in a number of household fittings including roof sheets, cladding, radiators, panels and pipes etc.
Importing and using most forms of asbestos was banned in the early 1980s, and more action has since been taken to ban the import, sale and re-use of all types of asbestos material.
In line with the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, and Health & Safety Executive guidance, our policy is to leave asbestos where it is unless it is in poor condition, is likely to be disturbed, or where it can be removed as part of a repair, improvement or alteration.
If you think you may have asbestos in your home that has been damaged or disturbed, or any protective coating is peeling away, please contact us straight away.
If you have any questions or concerns about asbestos, please speak to your housing officer.