Your safety – both within your home and outside – is our key priority. Our Health and Safety policy includes our commitment to our residents, employees, contractors and members of the public who may come into contact with our work. Below is a more useful guide for residents and homeowners in helping to keep you safe from harm.
IN THE EVENT OF AN EMERGENCY
We treat all safety issues as urgent. If you have a concern or feel that you, or someone else, is at risk of harm call our emergency number on 0208 607 7777.
If you suspect a gas leak leave your home immediately, contact the national freephone gas emergency number on 0800 111 999, and alert your neighbours to evacuate their homes too until the source of the leak is identified and it is safe to return to your homes.
Please click below for more information on gas safety and other areas of safety
Fire (including alarms)
Fire safety is a priority for us and we work closely with legislative bodies and the Government to ensure our buildings comply with fire regulations and that they provide you with the highest level of security against fire.
We carry out regular annual Fire Risk Assessments, including fire doors, exits, and fire safety equipment.
If you have any concerns, or notice anything that may pose a fire risk, contact us immediately. We treat any fire risk – no matter how small – as an emergency. Please call us immediately on 0208 607 7777
It is essential that you know your fire escape route and that you have practiced it (with your family and other household members).
Your escape route must be left clear of obstructions at all times and well maintained. This enables you to get out quickly, and for emergency services to get in.
Make sure those living in your property are aware of the fire procedures.
Alarms and detectors
There are two types of detectors: smoke detection and heat detection. There should be one detector on every level of your home. If your property uses gas, oil, or solid fuel, it is essential to have a carbon monoxide alarm too.
These alarms must be checked regularly, at least once a month, but a weekly check that takes just a few minutes could save your life.
If you don't have a smoke, heat or carbon monoxide alarm, you can get one for free by phoning the London Fire Brigade on 0800 028 4428 or by contacting us.
If your alarm starts beeping this means the battery is low. Never remove the battery until you can replace it with a new one immediately; and never cover the detector to silence the beeping.
Smoking is a leading cause of fire fatalities in the UK. If you smoke, please make sure your cigarettes are put out and disposed of properly. It is safer to smoke outside but please be respectful to neighbours and never throw cigarettes (or anything!) off balconies.
If you do smoke indoors, avoid smoking in bed or any place where you may fall asleep. It is advisable to run water on your ashtray before you empty it.
If you use a vape, always use the charger that comes with it and check the battery for damage and do not leave it charging for extended periods.
In your kitchen
Around 60% of fires start in the kitchen. Please don’t leave your cooking unattended and always check that everything is switched off, that hot surfaces have sufficiently cooled, when you are finished cooking. Be careful of flammable and loose clothing / fabrics when cooking.
Keeping your cooking appliances clean will reduce the risk of fire.
Candles and naked flames
Some fires are started by candles, incense and oil burners. Please make sure these are safely put out before leaving the room, especially at night when there is a risk you could fall asleep.
Place these items on a flat, fire-resistant, stable surface away from flammable items like curtains, furniture and clothes. Where possible purchase LED, battery-operated candles as these will reduce the risk of fire starting.
Make sure your electrical heater is well-maintained and keep it away from all bedding, clothing and furniture. Check for damage to the wire and that there are no burn marks on it. Where possible, secure heaters to the wall as this reduces the risk of them falling over.
If you are a resident, we visit your home once a year to check that your gas supply and appliances are safe. This is a legal requirement of all landlords.
Our checks and any gas heating repairs are carried out by K&T Heating Ltd.
If you are a homeowner, you are responsible for arranging your own regular gas checks. You can take advantage of a preferential gas service and maintenance contract from K&T Heating limited who can be contacted on 020 8269 4500, quoting “Inquilab Leaseholder”.
If you think there may be a gas leak in your home, turn off your gas supply immediately at the meter and call the national freephone gas emergency number on: 0800 111 999
If you smell gas:
- Extinguish anything that makes a fire or flame (such as candles or your gas cooker)
- Open all your doors and windows
- Put out cigarettes
- Don’t use matches or naked flames
- Don’t turn any light switches or power switches on or off as they could make a spark
- call the national freephone gas emergency number on: 0800 111 999
For more advice and information click on the following:
Lift from current website
Gas cylinders and appliances, such as portable gas heaters, gas-barbecues and blow torches bring a risk of fire or explosion. You must not use gas cylinder devices – or store them – on our properties. This includes personal spaces such as balconies as well as communal shared spaces including gardens, indoor spaces, storage / bin cupboards.
The three most common forms of asbestos are:
- Crocidolite ('blue asbestos')
- Amosite ('brown asbestos')
- Chrysotile ('white asbestos')
The use of asbestos in construction is now illegal but it may still be present in properties that were built prior to 1999.
If your property does have asbestos, or you are unsure, we will arrange for a specialist contractor to carry out a survey and report back on any risks and action required.
We follow the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) Guidance which is to leave asbestos that is in good condition in situ and to ensure the safe, compliant, removal of any asbestos which is not.
Asbestos-containing materials – which were typically used for roofing and infill works - are not a risk if they are in good condition and left undisturbed.
We have a responsibility to manage asbestos materials in our properties and we carry out surveys of our buildings, and record and monitor materials in accordance with our maintenance planning. We use only accredited asbestos specialists.
If you are in any doubt about having, or the condition of, asbestos materials in your property, please contact us immediately.
Never disturb, try to remove, paint, or maintain asbestos material products. This must always be done by an accredited asbestos specialist, and we will arrange this.
If you are a leaseholder / homeowner, we are only responsible for the structure of the building and communal areas. If you would like to remove materials that you think may contain asbestos, please contact a specialist asbestos-removal contractor who is licensed by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
Burst pipes and escaping water can cause property damage and anxiety. Water can also carry bacteria if it is left to stagnate which can cause health issues.
To make sure your water pipes, water traps, sinks and basins are kept clean, run water regularly through them; this is particularly important for areas that you may not use daily, such as an outdoor tap or separate shower.
During the winter months, particularly in frost and freezing conditions, your heating must be set to a minimum of 5 degrees (or a ‘Frost’ stat) even when you are away from your property. This avoids the water in the pipes freezing, and then expanding the pipes which can then burst releasing water once it has defrosted.
Electrics & Electricity
Electrical faults are a major cause of fire in the home. If a product is not working properly, don’t try to fix it yourself unless you are a registered electrician. You are responsible for the products and appliances in your home. We are responsible for carrying out electricity checks to the main power supply into your home.
The following is a basic check list, but it is not exhaustive. Check that:
- Plugs fit tightly into the socket and that the outer case, and socket, has no cracks
- Sockets must be properly fixed to the wall
- Cables should be firmly secured into the cable-end plug and must not be loose
- There are no burn marks on the product or plug area; this could be a sign of overheating.
- The cardboard label on the bottom of the plug is removed
- There is nothing loose inside the plug and the pins are not bent
- Electric cables are clean, and do not show any damage, such as cuts or fraying
- Avoid multi-plug adaptors and multiple extension leads
- If you're using an extension lead, make sure it's fully uncoiled
Electrical work must always be carried out by an approved and registered electrician. Never attempt to repair or carry out electrical works yourself unless you are a registered electrician.
If you have a concern about your electrics, contact us immediately.
Some useful guidance:
Securing Your Home
Always secure windows and lock your doors when you go out.
Providing you are not in sheltered housing, it is advisable to have a chain fitted to your front door; this can provide additional personal security particularly if you live alone.
Easy to purchase and install security systems, such as Ring, offers the ability to view and record people approaching your property and enables you to talk to them even when you’re out (requires wi-fi connectivity and a Smart Phone).
Always make sure your property is safe and lock your doors before you go to bed. Ground floor windows should never be left open nor those near drainpipes or flat roofs.
Don’t leave visible notes for delivery people, or leave your keys in the lock or in an obvious place (eg. under the mat or a string through the letterbox) as this will make your home a target for thieves!
Never leave cash and valuables around.
While we insure the building that you live in, you are responsible for the contents of your home including furniture and personal belongings. We strongly advise that you take out adequate home insurance to protect against the cost of replacing items as a result of damage or theft.
Communal and shared areas must be well managed by residents to avoid trips, slips, falls and to keep all escape routes clear of obstruction. We all have a collective responsibility for one another’s safety, so please:
- Never block stairways, corridors, access paths or lobbies
- Don’t put rubbish outside your door or in shared areas other than the bins
- Do not put unwanted items, or furniture, outside or within the inside communal hallways and landing. Obstructions pose a very real fire risk and cause other injuries such as slips, trips, and falls. Your local authority can arrange removal of such items
- Think about the weather conditions ... wipe dry wet floors and ice to avoid slips and falls
- Report loose handrails or other safety hazards, such as a trailing lead or loose floor tile. These are common causes of trips and falls
- Do not store anything in the shared utility meter cupboards – this is a fire hazard!
- Don’t leave prams, shopping trollies or shoes outside your door. Always keep your belongings within your property.
All homes require ventilation to help extract poor air (such as smoke), let in fresh air which is essential for our health, and to help prevent damp in your home.
- Never block up air bricks – these are the ones with holes in them; they let air in and out!
- Try to maintain a reasonable temperature in your home
- Avoid condensation by opening window vents and using extractor fans in the kitchen and bathrooms where fitted
- Wipe away condensation (such as that which appears on windows and shower cubicles or walls); this will help to stop mould forming.
We can supply a hydrometer to measure the amount of moisture in the air. If you would like to arrange for one to be delivered to you, or if you are concerned about ventilation and condensation, please contact us via our residents portal.
Fire Doors & Cupboards
It's very important that communal areas like corridors, walkways and fire doors are kept clear of obstructions like rubbish, prams, bikes, furniture or clothes. This is so everyone can safely escape the building if they need to and firefighters can safely enter and exit the building when fighting a fire.
We ask residents not to leave any items outside their home including door mats, shoes, plant pots, bikes and push chairs as all of these items pose a potential risk in the event of a fire. If you find rubbish or anything blocking communal areas or fire escapes, please contact us.
Doors throughout the building, including your front door, are designed to prevent fire and smoke from spreading. Please don’t make any changes to your doors nor leave fire doors open. If any door in your building is damaged please let us know immediately.
There are a number of utility cupboards in building blocks, such as gas, water or electrical. These are not for use by residents and must be kept locked. If they are damaged, or a resident is using them to store items please contact us as soon as possible. Blocking a utility cupboard is a fire risk.
Most people who call at your home are genuine. But it's always wise to be cautious.
All our staff and contractors carry identification with them. If you are not sure if the person at the door is genuinely calling on behalf of Inquilab, please call us immediately on 0208 607 7777.
Follow these simple steps:
Whenever you answer the door, remember to lock, stop, chain, check.
- Lock: Before you answer the door, secure all other doors into your property (eg. back door) as the person at the door may intend to distract you while an accomplice gets in another way
- Stop: Before you open the door, think about whether you’re expecting anyone
- Chain: Put the door chain on or look through the window or spyhole to see who’s there. If you don't recognise them ask for ID.
- Check: Check their identity card and examine it carefully. If you are in any doubt, you can always tell the caller to come back another time when someone will be with you. A genuine visitor will understand.
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