Staying safe in your home

Helping you feel safe and secure in your home.

Take a look at what you need to know about asbestos, carbon monoxide, gas, water and fire safety.


Why am I likely to be safe from asbestos?

Any asbestos in your home will be locked inside whatever product it was used in. It’s only a risk if these products get damaged. That’s why we need to check your home. Think about it like electricity. It’s perfectly safe unless it is interfered with.

It’s hard to tell whether a product contains asbestos just by looking at it. So we need to take samples and test them in a lab.

So remember, there’s no danger unless the fibres are released and inhaled into the lungs.

Keeping yourself safe – your responsibilities

If you ever suspect asbestos, from any damage or deterioration in your home – do not touch it. Don’t try to clean it up. Just call us straightaway at our Customer Service Centre on 0303 123 1890 and we’ll get someone out to inspect it.

Find out more

Take a look at Asbestos – What You Need To Know to get more information and advice.

Carbon monoxide

Around 40 people in the UK die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Carbon monoxide has no taste, smell or colour and can kill without warning in a matter of hours.

Signs to look out for

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can be mistaken for flu. They include headaches, dizziness, feeling sick or very tired.

Look out for:

  • yellow or brown staining on or around gas appliances
  • rising condensation around windows
  • yellow-tinged pilot lights that often blow out.

Suspect a carbon monoxide leak?

Turn off the gas supply. Call the National Grid immediately on 0800 111 999. Open the doors and windows and leave your home. An engineer should arrive within an hour.

Fire safety

It is important for you own safety to understand how to prevent fire and what to do in the event of a fire, whether it’s in your house, flat or somewhere else in the building. Think about how you could prepare for escaping a fire:-

  • A smoke alarm should be fitted on each level of your property. This should be positioned on the ceiling, in the middle of a room, hallway and landing. Test them regularly.
  • Plan your escape route and alternative escape route if possible. Be sure you are able to exit your home easily without looking for keys.
  • Keep your route and exits clear within your home and communal corridors.
  • Don’t use lifts unless signage says you can.
  • Keep a torch nearby.
  • Close all internal doors at night particularly the kitchen door.
  • Switch off and unplug any unnecessary electrical appliances at night

Do you know your Buildings Evacuation Plan?

Your customer liaison officer will be able to explain this to you; buildings other than houses will also have fire action notices displayed in the building.

If you live in a house or flat that is on fire or affected by smoke, your evacuation strategy will always be to immediately leave – ‘get out and stay out’.

Most blocks of flats are designed with fire safety in mind and are designed to contain fire within the flat where it started. Unless the fire is in your flat or you become affected by smoke or fire then you are advised to stay in your flat – stay put.

By ‘staying put’ it will reduce the risk of you entering a smoky corridor unnecessarily and potentially being overcome by smoke.

It will also enable firefighters to tackle the fire safely and quickly without being delayed by people evacuating down the stairways.

The first time you may be aware of a fire in your building is when you see the fire service arrive; once they are onsite you must follow any instructions they give.

Other buildings with support services onsite may have slightly different arrangements for evacuation.  These will be defined by the fire risk assessment and tailored to meet the needs of customers.

Gas safety

If you smell gas or are worried about gas safety you can call the National Grid on 0800 111 999 at any time, day or night. Your call won’t cost a thing.

Gas safety tips

  • Never use a gas appliance that you think is faulty.
  • If there is a yellow or orange flame, soot or stains around the appliance, or the pilot light keeps going out, let us know straight away so we can check it’s safe.
  • Don’t cover appliances or block air vents or outside flues.
  • Don’t fit draught excluders or double glazing to rooms containing a gas appliance without providing further ventilation.
  • We service all our tenant’s gas appliances on an annual basis. We’ll write to you to let you know when your check is. It’s really important that this happens every year, so please let us know if you can’t make the appointment.

Water safety

The risk of legionella causing illness in domestic housing is very low. Taking the following simple precautions will help you keep safe:

  • Showers, taps and garden hose pipes that have not been used for several days should be run before use at a very low rate of flow (dribbling) for 1 minute to avoid aerosol spray generation, after which, increase the flow rate for a further 4 minutes.
  • Keep all showerheads and taps clean and free from build-up of limescale, mould or algae.
  • If you have stored hot water cylinder, keep your hot water stored at 60oC, but be careful of scolding.