Safety at home
We take your health and safety very seriously and work hard to make sure that your home and any areas you share with other residents are safe. These pages explain what you can expect from us as a landlord and what we do to ensure your well-being.
There are also many things that you and your family can do to stay safe. Tips and advice reduce hazards in your home.
If you smell gas or fumes you should always:
- Open all doors and windows
- Turn the gas off at the meter
- Put out cigarettes and any naked flame
- Don't use electrical switches
- Call the National Gas Emergency Service 0800 111 999
Our fully qualified gas engineers carry out a gas safety check and service every 12 months to make sure everything is working properly and to keep your running costs as low as possible. Only Gas Safe registered engineers are authorised to work on gas appliances - residents should always check an engineers’ card.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a gas which you can’t see, taste or smell, but it can kill quickly and with no warning. CO can be produced from appliances served by gas, wood, coal and oil. These are fuels which can be found in your home as they are used in boilers, open or gas fires, water heaters, and solid fuel appliances.
We are installing CO detectors to all properties as part of our annual gas safety check and service.
Find out what the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning are and what you can do to minimise the risks.
Radon is a natural radioactive gas which has no smell and cannot be seen. It is produced from all rocks and soils and seeps from the ground where gas can collect in properties. In a small minority of cases the amount of radon may increase to unacceptably high levels. Where tests indicate high levels, we will carry out remedial works.
To find out more about radon and whether your home may be in an affected area visit www.ukradon.org. For information about testing properties in affected areas please contact us.
Home fires can devastate your family, yet so many of them are preventable. Keep your family and your neighbours safe by following a few simple rules. Curo is installing fire alarms to all properties as part of the annual gas safety check and service. Please make sure that you test smoke alarms regularly, have a fire escape plan and make sure everyone in your household is familiar with it. Also check everything is safe and switched off before going to bed.
If you live in a block of apartments please make sure that communal areas, such as corridors and stair wells, are kept clear. Never store personal belongings or rubbish in communal areas - this is a serious fire risk.
We carry out fire risk assessments on all of our accommodation blocks and our front-line staff do a variety of ongoing checks to help ensure your safety.
To help you stay safe from fire in your home, we've put together a short leaflet full of tips and advice to reduce the risk of fire. You can also book a free home fire safety check with your local fire safety service.
Asbestos in your home
Many houses and flats are built with materials which contain asbestos. Asbestos in good condition is not a problem, but if it gets damaged it can release tiny fibers into the air. These fibers can cause serious lung disease if they are breathed in. For this reason, you should not drill, saw, cut, sand or scrape materials which may contain asbestos. If you plan to do some work or think you may have asbestos in poor condition, you should let us know so that we can give you advice and arrange for any tests to be carried out.
To ensure residents’ safety, we carry out a number of asbestos surveys every year. We will write to you in advance if we need to survey your property. Please help us by letting our asbestos surveyors into your home to carry out these important inspections.
Your tap water
The tap water in your home meets very high standards. We regularly test communal stored water to ensure its quality. Poor water quality can cause bacteria to form, which can cause legionnaires disease. But these simple tips will help ensure your tap water stays safe for drinking, cooking and washing.
Taps and showers
If you’ve been away from home for a week or two, make sure you run the water for a couple of minutes to allow fresh water into the pipe. Regularly clean your taps and showerhead to get rid of the bacteria that lives in scale deposits. If your tap water ever runs brown or yellow, call us straight away
Hot water cylinders and immersion heaters
Bacteria can grow in water cylinders and tanks, but setting your thermostat to 60°C will kill almost all harmful bacteria, including those that cause legionnaires’ disease. If this is too hot, just mix with cold water before using it. If you or a member of your household has sensory loss, using water at 60°C could cause scalding, so please contact us.
Cold water storage tanks
Some homes are supplied with cold water from a water tank, often situated in cupboards or the loft. If you have a water tank, always make sure it is insulated and covered with a lid to prevent dust, insects, mice or birds from getting into it.
- Make sure you know where to turn off your water. Should you have a leak, turning off the water will minimise the damage.
- Lag any exposed external water pipes, e.g. garden water supplies, to prevent the pipes from freezing.
- If there is a leak from upstairs and the ceiling is bulging – clear under the leak or bulge and call us immediately.
We will check electrical installations before you move in and carry out further checks at regular intervals. To keep safe:
- Use a qualified electrician to repair electrical appliances.
- Do not tamper with the fuse or circuit boards. If your electrics keep tripping out report a repair. You can usually reset a tripped fuse yourself - click here to see how.
- Use the correct fuse for each appliance.
- Do not overload sockets.
- If the flex has frayed, get it replaced or replace the whole item.
- Keep electrical items away from water.
- Switch off appliances at the socket and unplug TVs etc. at night.
- Use an RCD 30ma plug-in circuit breaker with power tools and lawn mowers etc.
- Check electric blankets for signs of wear. If they are worn, do not use them and get them checked by an electrician.
For more electrical safety tips visit the Electrical Safety Council’s website.
To help prevent your home being broken into:
- Don’t leave doors and windows open if you go out.
- Ask to see the identity card of callers. All our employees and contractors carry these cards as do workers from other companies, e.g. gas, water, electrical. Genuine callers will not mind if you ask to see their card. If in doubt don’t let them in and contact the police.
- Do not give your personal information or bank details to strangers who contact you in person, on the phone or by email
- If you have bought expensive new items such as a computer, do not leave the packaging in the street for burglars to see. Bag it for collection or take it to your local recycling centre.
- Destroy bank statements and card receipts etc. before throwing them away.
- Keep ladders out of sight and secured to fixed object if possible.
- We also strongly advise you to take out home contents insurance.
- Remember to cancel milk and newspapers.
- Make sure doors and windows are securely locked.
- Use time switches to turn lights on and off. This gives the impression someone is in.
- Unplug electrical appliances wherever you can.
- Leave an emergency number and a key with a neighbour or friend so they can go round now and then to check everything is OK.
Gritting and snow clearance
Please take extra care if you have to go out in icy or snowy conditions this winter. Although we may not be able to grit around your home, we will be prioritising our most vulnerable residents living in sheltered housing.