We carry out inspections and tests on all electrical mains installations serving communal areas of blocks of flats, in line with current legal requirements.
We also check the condition of electrical wiring and fittings inside council flats:
Council leaseholders are responsible for the inspection, testing and maintenance of the electrical system in their homes. If you're looking to buy a council lease, we advise you to get an electrical inspection report as part of the conveyancing process.
If we contact you to arrange an inspection of your home's electrical system, it's important you allow us access to complete this. This is to make sure you and your family are safe and the installation doesn't pose a risk. If the system is defective, it could electrocute you or start a fire.
For information about electrical safety and how to prevent fires in the home, see our fire prevention pages.
If the electricity is not working in your home:
Every year about 14 people die from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by poorly installed and maintained gas appliances.
When gas doesn't burn properly carbon monoxide is produced, which is poisonous. You can't see it, taste it or smell it, but carbon monoxide can kill in a matter of hours.
If you suspect there is a gas leak:
If you suspect a carbon monoxide leak:
Remember you should never:
If you smell gas or suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, call the National Grid free on 0800 111 999.
If you're a council tenant, we will write to you every year to ask you to make an appointment with our Gas Safe contractor to carry out a safety inspection. This is to check and service your heating appliances and smoke detectors. If you need to change the appointment, you need to let the contractor know as soon as possible.
If you're not home at the agreed time, the contractor will leave a calling card with details asking you to contact them to rearrange the inspection. If you miss two appointments, the contractor will tell us and we will contact you to discuss the next steps.
If you don't allow us into your home to carry out the safety check, we will take legal action and you will have to pay any court costs.
You should make sure an adult over the age of 18 is at the property during the visit. If there isn't an adult there, we will have to rebook the appointment.
If you smoke, please open a window before the contractor arrives, and we ask that you don't smoke during the visit. Please keep small children and pets in another room whilst the inspection is taking place.
The engineer visiting you will show you their company identification and their Gas Safe ID card. If you're concerned about the contractor's identity, you should contact us.
During the visit we will check all gas appliances (such as boiler, heaters and fires), your smoke and heat detectors, and carbon monoxide detectors.
We don't check appliances that you own, but we will check any flue or chimney that services it.
If you own the appliance, you are responsible for maintaining it and arranging an annual gas safety check. Always use a Gas Safe registered engineer. To find an engineer, visit Gas Safe Register, phone 0800 408 5500 or use the test phone service on 0800 408 0606.
The contractor will let you know during the visit if any further works are needed to replace or repair any of the items tested.
If they find a fault with your boiler or other gas appliance which means it is unsafe, they will turn the appliance and gas supply off. If this happens, the contractor will tell us and we will contact you to arrange temporary heating if needed. We will also organise the works to replace or repair the appliance as quickly as possible.
If no faults are found, we will send you a copy of the Landlord Gas Safety Certificate within two weeks of your appointment.
If you're a council tenant and don't think a gas safety check has been carried out in your home in the past twelve months, you should phone us at once on 020 8379 1000.
If you're a council leaseholder, you must keep your home and gas appliances in good condition. You should appoint a registered Gas Safe engineer to do an annual gas safety inspection of any gas appliances in your home.
You can find a qualified gas engineer in your area by searching the Gas Safe Register.
Once you have completed your annual check, email a copy of your certificate to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you rent your home from a private landlord or registered social landlord and your home has a gas appliance installed, your landlord has the same legal duties as the council.
Your landlord should supply you with a copy of a Landlord Gas Safety Certificate (CP12) at the start of your tenancy. They should also commission a Gas Safe Registered contractor to reinspect your home every twelve months and provide you with a new certificate.
If you think your landlord has not completed a Landlord Gas Safety inspection, you should raise this with your landlord via their complaints process. If the matter is not resolved via this route, you can contact our Environmental Health team for further advice and support.
The signs to look out for include:
The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include:
These symptoms are similar to many common ailments and may easily be confused with flu or simple tiredness.
If you suspect you or someone else is suffering from the effects of carbon monoxide, you should switch off any fuel burning appliances and seek urgent medical help straight away.
For more information, visit:
We need you to keep all shared areas, including landings, stairwells, entrance lobbies, chute rooms and intake cupboards, completely clear of any items.
There are no exceptions to this safety rule. Items left in shared areas are a large fire risk and removing them greatly reduces the opportunity for deliberate fires. It also ensures that escape routes are kept clear, helping residents to evacuate from the building in an emergency. Items in shared areas can also reduce access for the emergency services. Examples of items often found in communal areas include:
We have introduced a ‘TORT’ procedure to help with the removal of items from shared areas. The TORT procedure allows us to remove items from shared areas and dispose of them.
We are sure that you understand the importance of keeping residents safe by having clear shared areas and we look forward to your continued help.
You can view important information about preventing fires, planning escape, risk assessments and commitments from your landlord, in our information about fire safety.
Most water systems contain some bacteria, including the bacteria that can cause Legionnaires' disease.
Legionnaires' disease is a respiratory disease, similar to pneumonia. It can be fatal in extreme cases, especially if you have a pre-existing medical or health condition.
To ensure our residents' safety, we carry out risk assessments to make sure there is no bacterial growth in our communal water services.
We also carry out:
There are steps you can take to keep your water clean and safe:
If you notice your hot water system is:
you should report a repair and we will arrange for it to be checked.
There is always some moisture in the air. You may notice it when you see your breath on a cold day, or when the mirror mists over when you have a bath or shower. When the air is cold, it can't hold all the moisture and tiny droplets of water appear. This is known as condensation.
Condensation occurs mainly during cold weather. It tends to appear on cold surfaces and in places where there is little movement of air, such as:
Condensation is usually the main cause of mould growth in homes, but mould growth can also be caused by damp.
Damp is usually caused by water entering your home from an external source, such as:
You can tell the difference between condensation and damp, as damp will normally look like there is a wet patch, or it will leave a white tide mark on the wall or ceiling surface. Check outside your home in the area affected and you should easily see the cause of the damp.
If you think your home has a damp problem, you should raise a repair and let us know what you think is causing it.
High condensation levels, and resulting mildew and mould problems can be prevented by following the steps below:
You can clean and treat small areas of mould growth safely yourself, using the method below:
Repeat this at the first sign of new mould growth.
It's important that anything causing damp is fixed or you deal with condensation levels in your home, or the mould may return after cleaning. If you've followed our advice and taken steps to deal with condensation, damp or mould but are still having problems, you should contact us.
If there are large areas of mould growth (where more than a quarter of a room's surfaces are affected) you should contact us and we will organise for a contractor to clean this for you.
If you live in a tall building, falls from height pose a significant risk to you and your family, especially small children.
It’s important you report any fault or damage to your windows, balcony railings or glazing to us at once, so we can make them safe or carry out an urgent repair.
This includes any damage to balcony or walkway railings, balustrades or glazing panels to communal walkways.
Residents are not allowed access to roof areas, unless the roof forms part of the buildings means of escape route.
If contractors or utility providers chosen by residents need access to roofs, they must contact us to get a permit to work by emailing email@example.com.
To make sure you and your family stay safe in your home, remember:
Remember, if there is a fault or a repair is needed to your windows or balcony railings, you should report this to us at once.