Feel safe at home
Your health and safety is important to us, which is why we do things like complete regular compliance checks and fire risk assessments. But everyone has a part to play is keeping safe.
To help keep your home safe, you can do things like checking your smoke alarm battery, not blocking exit routes with rubbish, and locking your doors.
On this page you’ll find helpful information on how we all play a part in things like fire safety, condensation, and electrical safety.
If there’s anything missing from this page that you’d like to ask about, just get in touch with our customer service team who’ll be happy to help.
Communal area safety
Communal areas, like your stairway, hallway, and the areas directly around your building, must be kept clear. For your own safety, don't block these areas or leave personal belongings laying around.
You can use the below form to report any accidents you may have had in or around your communal spaces as well as any potential hazards within your building.
Report a communal incident
Please keep your communal areas clear
Communal areas, like your stairway, hallway and the areas directly around your building, must be kept clear. For your own safety, don't block these areas or leave personal belongings laying around.
You can report any accidents you may have had in or around your communal spaces as well as any potential hazards within your building.
Thank you, We'll use this information to ensure that all our buildings are as safe as possible for you and your neighbours.
Helpful information to keep you safe
It's up to us all to stay on top of fire safety
- We carry out regular fire risk assessments (annual for tower blocks) which assesses the fire safety of our buildings and identifies any works required to keep our buildings safe from fires
- All our homes have fire resistant walls and doors – which separate them from other flats and communal areas – providing protection in case of fire
- We carry out annual dry riser testing to ensure that the fire brigade can fight the fires
- We also test other fire safety equipment such as emergency lighting to ensure they are in good working order, should an incident occur
- Many of our homes are fitted with individual smoke alarms
- We carry out fire safety checks on our monthly estate inspections
What to do in a fire
If your flat is being affected by fire or smoke and your escape route is clear:
- Get everybody out, close the door and walk calmly out of the building
- Do not use the lifts
- Call 999, give your address, the house number and state which floor the fire is on
If there is a fire or smoke inside your flat but your escape route is NOT clear:
- It may still be safer to stay put in your home until the fire services arrive
- Find a safe room, close the door and use soft materials to block any gaps to stop the smoke
- Go to a window, shout “HELP, FIRE” and call 999
- Be ready to describe where you are and the quickest way to reach you
If there is a fire in another part of the building:
- Purpose built blocks of flats are built to give you some protection from fire. Walls and doors can hold back flames and smoke for 30 to 60 minutes
- You are usually safer staying put and calling 999
- Tell the fire services where you are and the best way to reach you
- If you are within the common parts of the building, leave and call 999
Preventing fires in your home
- When you go to bed, make sure you’ve closed all internal doors
- Take care in the kitchen – most fires start here, so never leave your cooking unattended and take extra care with hot oil
- Never leave lit candles unattended
- Make sure cigarettes are stubbed out and disposed of carefully. Never smoke in bed
- Don’t overload electrical sockets
- Keep matches away from children
- Don’t store flammable liquids such as petrol at home
- Don’t have BBQ’s on balconies
Preventing fires in communal areas
- Don’t leave or dump rubbish or furniture in communal areas
- Items in corridors should not cause an obstruction or hazard and must be made of materials that would not readily burn (e.g. ceramic plant pot)
- Avoid smoking or stubbing cigarettes in communal areas
- Don’t dispose of flammable liquids in bin areas (such as petrol)
If there's damp and mould in your home that you can wipe off, then the problem is most likely condensation. Condensation is dampness that occurs when water vapour in the air cools on contact with a cold surface. You will often find it on or near windows, on cold wall surfaces – especially if they are north facing, or behind cupboards or wardrobes, where there is little air movement. If the damp in your home is caused by condensation, you will need to take steps to stop it forming in the first place.
How to minimise condensation
Condensation is directly affected by how you use your home. To limit condensation, there a few steps you should take, like producing less moisture, keeping rooms well ventilated, and keeping your home warm. Don’t completely draught-proof windows, especially in kitchens and bathrooms, and don’t block air vents. You should keep cupboards and wardrobes well aired and try not to overfill them, and where possible, line furniture up against internal walls.
Day-to-day steps to help reduce moisture in your home
- Cover boiling pans and turn kettles off quickly
- Avoid drying clothes on radiators, or in front of fires or heaters
- Dry washing outdoors, or in the bathroom with the door closed and the window open or the fan turned on
- When running a bath, put in some cold water first
- Open a window or use any fans in your kitchen and bathroom, and leave them running after you leave the room
- Keep a small window or trickle ventilator open in any room you are using
- Keep curtains open for at least four or five hours each day, to let moisture escape through any window vents
- Try to leave a gap between curtains and the wall during the day
Clearing moisture and mould
It’s important to stay on top of any remaining moisture. Do this by wiping any condensation from windows and elsewhere with a dry cloth every morning and open a window for a while – wring the cloth out in the sink, rather than drying it on a radiator.
You should also wipe any small dots of black mould from walls and other surfaces with a mild bleach solution or anti-fungal spray to stop it spreading – you might need to do this at least twice a month in winter. If mould gets onto fabrics, you can often wash them – but there may be a stain.
Keeping your home warm
Keeping your home at a consistent temperature, means fewer cold surfaces for moisture to settle. You should aim to keep background heating on through the winter months and when you’re not at home. You should also keep a small amount of heat and ventilation going at night, as we give off lots of moisture into the air while sleeping.
We carry out periodic inspections and testing to ensure that electric installlation in your home is to a satisfactory, safe standard. Your co-operation with this is extremely important. Electrics can be extremely dangerous and are the leading cause of domestic fires in the UK.
Please read the practical advice below to help reduce the risk of causing a fire or getting an electric shock at home.
Plugs, cables and sockets
Make sure your plugs, cables and sockets are all in good working order. Don’t overload sockets with too many appliances – if you need an adaptor, use a good quality multi-socket extension lead.
- Keep electrical leads away from water
- Never use visibly damaged plugs, cables or sockets.
- Ensure plugs fit tightly into sockets.
- Fully extend extension leads before use.
- Don’t run cables or extension leads under carpets or rugs.
- Don’t overload sockets with too many electrical appliances.
Electrical appliances and lights
Only buy electronic appliances and items from trustworthy sources and use according to the manufacturer’s guidance.
- Always keep electrical appliances away from water.
- Switch off electrical appliances when not in use.
- Always follow the manufacturer guidance for electric items.
- Only use chargers supplied with mobile phones and devices.
- Don’t leave mobile phones or devices charging overnight.
- Use the correct type and wattage of bulb for light fittings.
Electric heaters and electric blankets
- Don’t cover heaters or dry clothes on them.
- If possible, secure heaters to walls so they can’t fall over.
- Position heaters away from any flammable bedding, curtains or furniture.
- Don’t leave heaters unattended or fall asleep with them on.
- Don’t switch electric blankets on while folded or crumpled up.
- Don’t use a hot water bottle with an electric blanket.
- Check electric blankets for scorch marks.
More information about electrical safety
Healthy water is safe water
Legionnaires’ disease is a pneumonia-like illness. It can affect anybody and is potentially fatal, but rare in the UK. The infection is caused by breathing in small droplets of water contaminated by the bacteria.
You can’t get it from drinking water and the disease can’t be passed between people.
Legionella bacteria can be found in hot and cold water systems in houses. The main areas of risk are where bacteria can multiply. They can survive low temperatures and thrive at temperatures between 20–45°C if the conditions are right. They are killed by temperatures above 60°C.
Anybody can catch Legionnaires’ disease, but it’s more likely to affect those who are older, who smoke, and those who are already ill or have low immunity or respiratory conditions.
Reduce the risk of Legionella
The risk of legionella causing illness in small houses is very low. Taking the following simple precautions will help keep you safe:
- Run showers and taps for at least one minute before use if they haven’t been used for a few days
- Flush the toilet twice to circulate fresh water through the system and empty the cistern
- Keep all shower heads and taps clean and free from a build-up of limescale, mould, or algae growth. Use sterilising fluid every 3-6 months
- Keep your hot water at a temperature of more than 60°C, but be careful of scalding
- Don’t remove water tank lids
- Don’t tamper with any set heating levels on your hot water system, it's set to a level to protect you from legionella and other bacteria
We’re responsible for making sure that the risk of exposure to legionella is properly controlled. We have a duty to assess the risk of exposure and implement appropriate control measures where required.
With most small houses the risk is quite low, and we would expect you to follow the basic precautionary measures above to keep yourself safe. The same advice would apply to flats but we these blocks we have to go further.
With larger premises, such as blocks of flats, where the water is managed centrally, we need to assess the risk of legionella bacteria in water installations or systems. Our responsible person will record the risks and precautions and review the assessment occasionally in line with detailed guidance provided by the health and safety executive.
We’ll prepare a plan for preventing or controlling the risk of legionella bacteria, including:
- Water in the boiler and at each outlet point should be kept at a minimum of 60°C within a minute of running the water. Water safety information for residents It’s important that you have access to safe water, and aren’t put at risk of water-related diseases, such as Legionnaires’ disease. THCH is responsible for making sure that the risk of exposure to legionella is properly controlled, but there are also measures you can take.
- Shower heads and hoses used in common areas of the building should be dismantled, cleaned, and descaled regularly.
- Any water units that are not regularly used should be flushed through regularly.
- If a house is empty for more than one week waiting for a new owner then we’ll flush through all the water pipes, taps and showers before they move in.
- Communal cold water tanks are visually inspected regularly.
- The water tank is insulated and fitted with a closed lid.
- We check for debris and if necessary, clean and disinfect.
Door entry systems
Do not let anyone into your building unless you know who they are and do not let people 'tailgate' you through building entrances. It is all of our responsibility to keep each other safe.
Lock your doors
In the majority of burglaries entry is gained through a door. Make sure you always lock doors when you leave the house, even for a short while, and when you go to bed. Don’t forget to lock any other doors you have on your property such as in your shed, garage, or garden gate.
Lock your windows
Make sure you lock your windows when you are going out or going to bed as an open window can act as an invitation to a thief.
Gas Safety checks
Annual inspections are essential for keeping your home running smoothly and safety. It's our legal obligation to carry out compliance tests in your home. Our contractors, K&T Heating, will write to you to let you know when an inspection is due and we will need to gain access to your home.