Safety In your home
We take the safety of our residents very seriously and want you to feel safe in your home at all times.
In this section, you will find information about what THCH is doing to keep you safe, the checks we carry out, and how you can help.
We take our responsibilities regarding fire safety. You can view your obligations as a resident, here: Residents Obligations for Fire Safety
We carry out regular fire risk assessments which assess the fire safety of our buildings and identifies any works required to keep our buildings safe from fires. We also test dry risers annually to ensure that the fire brigade can fight the fires, and other fire safety equipment such as emergency lighting to certify they are in good working order, should an incident occur.
You can find more advice on fire safety at www.london-fire.gov.uk/SafetyAtHome.asp
What should you do in case of 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 number of the flat 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 flat until the fire brigade arrives
- 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 brigade where you are and the best way to reach you
- If you are within the common parts of the building, leave and call 999
What have we done to make your flat and your building safe
- 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 THCH flats 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 flats are fitted with individual smoke alarms
- We carry out fire safety checks on our monthly estate inspections
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)
By law, we have to check gas appliances in our rented homes each year to make sure they are safe.
To help us do this you must let the engineer from our contractors K&T heating in so that they can carry out this check.
Please watch this short video explaining what we do in the annual check and why it is needed.
The engineer will write to you and let you know when they plan to visit. If it's not convenient, you must arrange another appointment. If you keep missing appointments you will be in violation of your tenancy agreement and we may have to take legal action against you.
If you can’t make the allocated appointment? Call K & T Heating as soon as possible on 020 8269 4500.
If you are a leaseholder you are responsible for the gas appliances in your home. Our contractor K&T Heating offer a competitive rate for gas servicing. Leaseholders should contact K & T Heating on 020 8269 4500 or email for this service.
The following options are available:
- £14.50 per month or £174 per year
- Labour and parts if your boiler or system breaks down.
- A replacement boiler if the company decides that it would not be economical to repair your existing boiler.
- £9.75 per month or £117 per year
- Labour and parts if your boiler or system breaks down
- There is no age limit on your existing boiler as long as parts are reasonably available.
- £7.95 per month or £95.40 per year
- Labour and parts if your boiler or system breaks down
*All prices are for single wet or warm-air central heating systems.
If you require further information on gas servicing, please call our Repairs & Maintenance Team on 020 7780 3070.
We are committed to protecting all tenants, staff, contractors, and visitors from any health risks associated with asbestos-containing materials in all of our premises.
THCH employs specialist contractors to manage asbestos risk across our properties and we are committed to minimising risk and transparency with residents.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding asbestos, please call THCH on 020 7780 3070.
What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous material that was regularly used in buildings until the late 1990s as an insulation and fireproofing solution. Asbestos only becomes a risk when the fibres become airborne, often as a result of building works but also sometimes in the case of disrepair.
How does THCH manage asbestos?
THCH employs specialist asbestos contractors to assess risk where there is believed to be asbestos present and works with a certified asbestos removal contractor to handle any subsequent removal or encapsulation works.
If you are worried about possible asbestos in your home please contact your community housing officer.
The asbestos management reports for communal areas can be found here.
If you would like more information on asbestos, please visit the Health and Safety Executive's website by clicking here.
THCH has a responsibility to carry out periodic inspections and testing to ensure that electric installlation in yuor property is to a satisfactory 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.
It is extremely important to ensure that all electrical work or repairs must always be done by an NICEIC-registered electrician.
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
Electrical Safety First: www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk.
National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting: www.niceic.com.
It is important to make sure your water is safe to use, please follow these simple tips to keep you and your household safe
What is Legionnaires' Disease?
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.
How do you reduce the risk of Legionella in your home?
- 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
What are THCH's responsibilities?
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.
You can find out more information about Legionnaires' Disease on the Health and Safety Executive website.
We have a legal obligation to manage the safety of communal areas, so please keep communal areas clear and tidy and report anything that could cause a hazard or obstruction.
Communal Areas include stairways, hallways and the areas directly around your blocks.
The following form allows you to report to THCH any accidents you may have had in or around your block (communal areas only, not within your own dwelling) as well as any potential hazards within your block.
THCH will use the information provided to ensure that all our blocks are as safe as possible for you and your neighbours.
We want everyone to feel safe in their home, so we have put together some tips to help you keep your property secure.
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.