We take the health and safety of our residents very seriously.
Click on the relevant areas below to find out more about our landlord responsibilities, and steps you can take to stay safe in your home.
Fire safety in your home
As your landlord we are responsible for carrying out regular fire safety checks in the communal areas of buildings.
You should familiarise yourself with the 'Fire Evacuation' or 'Stay Put' action plan for your respective property.
Following these simple steps will help reduce the risk of a fire in your home.
- Fit a smoke alarm on each floor of your home. Test alarms once a week and change batteries every year.
- Keep exits from your home clear and keys to windows and doors in each reach.
- Keep communal areas, corridors and staircases clear of large items such as prams, bikes or large plant pots as these could get in the way of people evacuating the building, and could also fuel a fire.
- Accidents while cooking account for over half of fires at home. Don't leave children alone in the kitchen.
- Don't leave candles unattended when lit.
- Don't smoke in bed.
- Close all doors at night to help prevent the spread of fire.
- Don't overload electrical sockets
- Switch off and unplug your TV and other electrical goods - leaving them on standby could cause a fire.
For more tips visit the Fire safety at home pages of the London Fire Brigade's website.
Fire safety for flats and maisonettes
Gas safety in your home
I can smell gas what do I do?
How to keep you and your home safe
Unless gas appliances are serviced regularly they can become dangerous and can kill. If your gas appliance has not been checked for 12 months it may be unsafe and you may also be in breach of your lease.
- Make sure you have an annual gas safety check!
- Check for warning signs your appliances aren’t working correctly eg lazy yellow or orange flames instead of crisp blue ones, black marks on or around the appliance and too much condensation in the room.
- Know the six signs of carbon monoxide poisoning – headaches, dizziness, breathlessness, nausea, collapse and loss of consciousness.
- Have an audible carbon monoxide alarm. This will alert you if there is carbon monoxide in your home. Our gas engineers are able to supply these when they arrive to complete your gas safety check.
- Never carry out any gas works yourself. Always use a Gas Safe registered engineer.
For more gas safety advice, visit the Gas Safe Register website at www.GasSafeRegister.co.uk or call the free helpline on 0800 408 5500.
Asbestos safety in your home
When asbestos is in good condition and not damaged it is not a danger. Once disturbed and its dust gets into the air is there a possible risk to health. Do not tamper with or touch any asbestos material.
Our specialist asbestos contractor carries out asbestos surveys across our properties. We will let you know if we are aware of asbestos in your home. We endeavour to comply with statutory requirements by working closely with tenants and by providing asbestos survey findings.
All residents moving into a Hyde property will be given a leaflet containing facts and contact information.
You can find out more about asbestos safety in your home on the HSE website.
How you can stay safe
You should ask Hyde for approval if you are planning major work in your home. If you think asbestos is present we can offer advice. However if alterations are of your own undertaking, then any costs of removing asbestos if it is found will be yours.
You should be cautious when carrying out any DIY work. The use of power tools could increase the amount of fibres released into your home. You should inform us before starting any work, so that we can provide asbestos information.
Some textured ceiling coatings, Artex for example, are known to contain a small quantity of asbestos. Do not attempt to remove them especially with power tools. We can provide advice, so contact us.
I think I've found asbestos what do I do?
- Do not attempt to clean it up or repair it yourself
- Do not brush or vacuum as this will spread the fibres into the air.
- Contact us for advice.
Legionella bacteria are found in streams, rivers and lakes. They are also found in soil, compost and mains water and can sometimes enter a home’s water system.
Is Legionella harmful?
Low amounts of Legionella are not harmful. Legionella is only dangerous if conditions are right for the bacteria to grow and if you inhale water droplets from a contaminated water system. The bacteria can cause a number of infections, most of which are not serious. However, Legionnaires’ Disease is fatal in 10% to 12% of cases.
We are legally obliged to check for Legionella in some of our buildings, as part of regular checks to ensure water systems are clean and safe to use.
What you can do
Legionella is rarely occurs in homes, as most households do not store large volumes of water, however there are a few tips to make sure your water is safe:
Set the correct water temperature
Legionella grows between 20°C and 50°C, so where possible set hot water cylinders at 60°C or above. Regular use of cold water should ensure temperatures stay below 20°C.
De-scale taps and showers
Legionella can grow and multiply on scale or rust. So de-scale taps and showers every three months or when there is an obvious build-up of scale (in hard water areas, you may need to do this more often). Brush scale off with a nylon brush or wipe with diluted bleach (follow the instructions on the bottle) or a de-scaling solution.
Check the water tank, if you have one
Contact customer services if the lid is missing or damaged.
Use water taps once a week
This will ensure water doesn’t stand in pipes; if you’ve been away for more than a week run all your taps for a few minutes before using the water. Also run the water in the shower – remove the shower head beforehand so water droplets are not created. If you cannot remove it, cover it with a towel while you run the water.
Additional guidance can be found in the Approved Code of Practice and guidance for Legionnaires’ disease on the Health and Safety Executive website.
Prevent your pipes from freezing and bursting
Protect your home from burst pipes
Pipes can freeze when it gets very cold and in some cases burst, causing flooding and damage to homes. Fortunately, there are some simple things you can do to stop pipes freezing.
Find the stopcock and check the pipes
Find out where your stopcock is located. It’s fitted to the pipe bringing water into your home and is often under the kitchen sink, but not always. Also check the pipes – if there are any you think need insulating, please contact customer services.
If you have an outside tap, turn off the supply (it should have its own stopcock) and open the tap so that any water in the pipe can drain away.
Going on holiday?
If you are planning to go way for more than a day or two, leave the heating on low to prevent the property becoming cold and to prevent to water pipes freezing.
What to do if a pipe bursts
- Turn off the water at the stopcock
- Switch off the electricity at the mains
- Switch off any water heaters
- Switch off the central heating
- Open all taps to sinks and the bath to let the water drain away
- If possible, collect water in the bath for flushing the toilet and for washing
- Warn your neighbours if there is a chance they may be affected
- If it is an internal pipe, call Hyde on 0800 3 282 282.
In the highly unlikely event that a mains pipe freezes, or for any other issues, please contact your local water company.