Your home safety
We know your home is your castle. It’s where you feel safe, and we need to work together to make sure it stays that way.
Watch our short film about home safety (click the play button at the top of the page), and read on for more about gas, fire and asbesos safety.
Risks and responsibilities
- If your boiler, cooker or other gas appliances are not regularly checked and maintained, you and others could be at risk of gas leaks and fires
- Gas leaks can lead to explosions, which can kill
- Gas boilers, fires and cookers that aren’t working properly or have poor ventilation could produce carbon monoxide gas. You can’t smell, taste or see this gas, but it can make you very ill and even cause death.
What you can do
- Let us into your home to do our life-saving gas safety checks
- If you can’t make your appointment, please let us know as soon as possible so that we can arrange to visit you another time
- If you have a pre-payment meter, make sure you have enough credit on both the gas and electric meter (at least £2) for the safety tests to be carried out
- Don’t use any gas appliances if you don’t think they’re working properly. Let us know straight away if you’re worried. Take a look at the gas safety leaflet on the left, to know what to look for
- Arrange for your own gas appliances, like your cookers, to be regularly serviced
- Make sure you have a carbon monoxide alarm fitted
- Take some time to read up on carbon monoxide, so that you can recognise the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, and know what to do if you suspect a gas leak in your home. You can find information about that here
- If we own your boiler and other gas appliances, we’ll check them once a year to make sure they’re working safely
- We’ll also check any gas pipework and meters during the visit and, if you have one, we’ll check your carbon monoxide alarm
- We’ll repair gas appliances owned by us, if needed, and we’ll give you advice about any appliances that you own. This is so you can arrange your own repairs if necessary
- We’ll give you a copy of the gas safety certificate, once the checks have been done
- We’ll only use qualified Gas Safe registered engineers to carry out work on appliances
- We’ll offer flexible appointment dates and times, and agree your appointment with you. We’ll give you two weeks’ notice of your first appointment
- We’ll give you advice on the action to take in a gas emergency.
If you don’t let us into your home to do our safety checks, we will take legal action.
There's more information available in the gas safety leaflet on the left of this page.
- Very simple mistakes can cause fires, like overloading electrical sockets or not stubbing a cigarette out properly. You’re also more at risk if your smoke alarm isn’t working properly because it may not alert you of a fire in your home
- Fire and smoke in the home can spread very quickly, and can kill.
What you can do
- Check your smoke alarms are working throughout the year by pressing the ‘test’ button
- Make sure that your exits are clear from clutter, so you can get out if you need to. This is especially important in communal areas of blocks of flats. Please don’t leave rubbish, bikes, prams or mobility scooters in communal hallways
- Don’t wedge fire doors open. Keeping them closed helps to slow down the spread of fire
- Plan an escape route in the event of a fire
- Always stub your cigarettes out properly and use an ashtray. Please don’t smoke in communal areas if you live in a block of flats
- Make sure you don’t overload your sockets with too many plugs. It’s also safest to unplug appliances when you’ve finished using them.
- We’ll do an annual inspections of your smoke alarm to check that it’s working properly, at the same time as we do your gas safety checks. We’ll repair and replace faulty battery alarms if needed
- We also fit mains operated alarms on a dedicated programme
- We frequently check fire alarms in communal areas and service the systems four times a year
- If you live in a block of flats or in one of our sheltered or supported schemes we’ll carry out regular fire risk assessments in the shared parts of the building. This will be every one, two or three years depending on the risk
- We’ll check the electrics in your home before your tenancy starts and every five or ten years during your tenancy, to make sure they’re safe and working properly.
There's more information available in the fire safety leaflet on the left of this page.
- Asbestos is harmless if left undisturbed. It’s found in many common household building materials like floor tiles, and is used in fire proofing solutions and insulation. However if you drill, saw, sand or scrub it, then the material can release fibres into the air which cause long-term disease.
What you can do
- If we've told you there's asbestos in your home, please make sure you don’t disturb it. This is very important as you may disturb asbestos fibres when you're carrying out decoration work or home improvements (please make sure you have our permission before you make any changes in your home)
- If you do suspect that asbestos-containing material has been damaged, contact us. We’ll treat it as a priority.
- We inspect homes and communal areas built before the year 2000 to check for asbestos (around a fifth of our homes) and make sure any that's found is in a safe condition
- We inspect homes every two or four years depending on risk, and communal areas once a year
- If asbestos has been found where you live, we’ll tell you where it’s located in your home and give you advice on the ‘dos and don’ts’
- We’ll sometimes remove asbestos if we’re completing major work or where it’s found to be damaged. If not found damaged, we’ll leave it alone and manage it
There's more information available in the asbestos safety leaflet on the left of this page.
- Legionella is a bacteria which is found in water. It can lead to a serious lung infection known as Legionnaires’ disease, which is potentially fatal. The disease is usually caused by breathing in small droplets of contaminated water
- It can be found in water systems in homes
- The disease is rare in the UK. In 2013, 284 people were reported to have the infection. Of these cases, 88 people (31%) were exposed to the infection while travelling abroad. (Legionnaires' Disease can’t be contracted by drinking water, and it can't be passed from person to person.)
- We’ll carry out an initial risk assessment of communal water systems in our sheltered and supported schemes and review the assessment every two years. All individual, residential homes (flats and houses) will be assessed on a rolling programme and reviewed when necessary.
What you can do
- When you first move into your home, run the bath and sink taps continuously for at least five minutes. This will flush through any bacteria
- If your shower has not been used for a week or more, run the water from both hot and cold supplies for two minutes. To ensure that no spray escapes from the showerhead, run it through a bucket of water or full bath
- If your shower has not been used for two weeks or more, disinfect the showerhead. You could use any solution designed for cleaning baby feeding bottles to do this (such as Milton). Showerheads should be disinfected about four times a year
- If you’ve been away and your home has been empty for a while, flush the whole water system for two minutes or more. First flush your toilet, then let all taps run for two minutes or more to let both hot and cold water pass through. Next, flush the shower through as described above
- Don’t interfere with the settings on your boiler or hot water cylinder. Get in touch with us if you notice the temperature of your water is lower than it should be.
There's more information available in the water safety leaflet on the left of this page.