Safety in your home

Download article Print article
Choose from the index:
Are you prepared in the event of a fire?

If you had a fire tonight, would you know what to do? Be prepared and have an escape plan. One day it could just save your life! Make sure you, and those you live with, know how to escape in the event of a fire. The most important thing to remember if a fire starts in your home is get out, stay out and call 999. You should never try to fight a fire yourself.

Planning ahead:

  • It’s important that everyone in your home (including children and the elderly) is involved in putting together the escape plan
  • Everyone should know where the door keys are
  • Keep your escape routes free of clutter. Think how difficult it will be manoeuvring in the dark
  • Walk your escape route with the rest of your family or housemates and make sure everyone can open doors easily
  • Always choose a second escape route if possible, just in case the first one is blocked
  • Review your escape route regularly to take into account any changes in your home
  • If you live in a building with internal communal areas, familiarise yourself with the fire evacuation strategy for the building. It is usually detailed on a large red notice displayed in the communal area.

What to do in a fire:

  • Keep calm and act quickly. Tell everyone in your home to get out
  • Seconds count, so don’t waste time investigating or rescuing valuables
  • Before opening a door check it first by using the back of your hand (starting at the bottom of the door and working upwards). If it’s hot, don’t open it
  • When moving through your home, close doors behind you to contain the fire.

If your clothes catch

  • Stop, drop, roll! Lie on the floor and roll around, smothering the flames
  • Don’t run around, you will fan the flames and make them burn faster
  • Smother the flames with a heavy coat or blanket.

What to do if your escape route is blocked:

  • Call 999 immediately
  • Find a room as far away from the fire as possible and wait until the fire fighters arrive
  • Tell the emergency services where you are in the property
  • If you have no phone to call 999 open the window and shout HELP FIRE
  • Put a cushion, bedding, towel around the bottom of the door to block the smoke
  • Open a window for fresh air
  • If smoke comes in, keep as low as possible as smoke rises
  • Once you have escaped, don’t go back inside your home, even if someone is left inside. Wait for the fire fighters and when they arrive give them as much information as possible.

Fire safety regarding communal areas and escape routes

In order to allow free access for residents and visitors in the event of fire, it is essential that all communal areas and escape routes are kept clear and that residents personal belongings are not kept or stored in the communal areas.

As a landlord we have a duty to ensure these premises are kept safe and free of hazards. Please ensure that you do not leave any belongings in the communal area or near escape routes. Regular inspections will be carried out and if items are found in the communal areas or blocking the escape routes they will be disposed of.

Fire equipment and signs should not be tampered with and persons are liable to prosecution if found to be responsible for damaging fire equipment. Please ensure that you and your visitors adhere to the requests in this notice. It is with your safety in mind that these requests are made. Your co-operation is appreciated.

If you have any queries or concerns regarding this matter please do not hesitate to contact us.

How to reduce the risk of fire in the home

In the kitchen:

  • Avoid leaving children in the kitchen alone when cooking on the hob. Keep matches and sauce pans out of their reach
  • If you have to leave the kitchen, take pans off the heat
  • Make sure sauce pan handles don’t stick out – so they don’t get knocked over
  • Take care when wearing loose clothing, it can easily catch fire
  • Keep tea towels and clothes away from the cooker
  • Spark devices to light gas are safer than matches or lighters because they don’t have a naked flame
  • Double check the cooker is off when you have finished cooking
  • Keep electrical leads away from water
  • Keep the toaster away from curtains and kitchen roll and check it’s clean
  • Keep the cooker, hob and grill clean and in good working order
  • Don’t put anything metal in the microwave
  • Take care when cooking with oils. They set fire easily. If the oil starts to smoke it’s too hot
  • Make sure food is dry before throwing it in oil to prevent it from splashing hot oil
  • If a pan catches fire never throw water on it. Turn off the heat, call 999, get out and stay out. Never tackle a fire yourself.

This video from the Fire Service includes some great tips on staying safe when cooking.

You can access some more tips and advice around cooking safely here>>


  • Certain appliances such as a washing machine should have a single plug to themselves as they are high powered
  • Try to keep to one plug per socket
  • An extension lead or adapter will have a limit to how many amps it can take, so be careful not to overload them to reduce the risk of a fire. Check the amps on the plug
  • Keep electrical appliances clean and in good working order. Keep your eyes out for visual signs of damage such are loose wiring or exposed cables, scorch marks, hot plugs or sockets
  • Unplugging appliances reduces the risk of fire, unplug them when not in use or when you go to bed.

Portable appliances:

  • Try to secure heaters up against a wall to stop them falling over
  • Keep heaters clear from curtains and furniture and never use them to dry clothes.
  • For properties with balconies, the use of barbeques, chimineas, fire pits, portable fires etc. is forbidden.


  • Stub cigarettes out properly and dispose of them carefully – use an ashtray
  • Never smoke in bed or leave a cigarette lying around lit
  • Take extra care if you smoke when you’re tired, taking prescription drugs or if you’ve been drinking. You might fall asleep and set your bed or sofa on fire.


  • Make sure candles are secured in a proper holder and away from materials that may catch fire like curtains.
  • Put candles out when you leave the room, and make sure they’re put out completely at night
  • Children shouldn’t be left alone with lit candles
  • Keep pets away from lit candles.

When going to bed:

  • Close all internal doors to stop fire spreading
  • Turn off and unplug electrical appliances, unless they are designed to stay on e.g. a freezer
  • Check your cooker is turned off
  • Don’t leave the washing machine on
  • Turn heaters off and put up fire guards
  • Put candles and cigarettes out properly
  • Make sure exits are kept clear
  • Keep door keys where everyone can find them.


  • Test your smoke alarm every week by pressing the button until the alarm sounds. Never remove the battery unless it requires replacing.
  • Contact your local fire service to arrange a home fire safety checks. These are usually free.
  • Strobe lighting and vibrating pad alarms are available for those who are deaf or hard of hearing. Contact Action on Hearing Loss on Telephone 0808 808 0123 or Textphone 0808 808 9000.
Tumble dryer fire safety

In November 2015 a product recall was initiated to owners of tumble dryers manufactured by various brands including Hotpoint, Indesit, Creda, Proline, and Swan. The recall related to condenser and vented dryers manufactured between April 2004 and September 2015.

The recall related to the risk of fire caused by laundry fluff coming into contact with the heating element of the machine and is believed to be responsible for thousands of house fires and at least two fatalities. Since then the manufacturers of the affected dryers have offered customers the chance to have the fault rectified.

At the time of the initial recall the information provided by the manufacturers was to not leave the machines unattended when in use. However, in the past week Trading Standards have recommended that the manufacturer issues updated usage advice to all customers that have not yet received the product rectification.

The latest update now recommends that if you have one of the affected dryers then you unplug it and do not use it until the modification has taken place.

For more advice and to arrange a free visit from an engineer, please visit the following sites:

Alternatively a freephone hotline number is available: 0800 151 0905

Creda and Proline customers should visit:


Electrical safety in your home

Landlord installations

As your landlord, we will ensure that the electrical wiring in your home, including plug sockets & switches, is properly installed & maintained. We will carry out an electrical safety check in your home every 10 years

Your appliances

  • Check plugs & sockets for burn marks, sounds of buzzing or crackling (‘arcing’), fuses blowing or circuit breakers tripping or overheating
  • Remove plugs from sockets carefully to avoid damaging the connection
  • Only use plugs with the British Standard CE safety mark
  • Check that no coloured wires are showing between the plug & cable before use
  • Unplug appliances before doing any repair work, or before filling kettles, steam irons etc. with water
  • Never trail flexible cables under a carpet or rug, or across a walkway
  • Never dry clothes on an electric heater
  • Never cover ventilation slots
  • Never store combustible materials close to electrical appliances (including fuse boxes, electricity metres or cut out fuses)
  • Don’t drill holes or fix nails in walls or partitions without knowing what is hidden behind them as you could damage electrical cables (as well as gas & water pipes)
  • Do not use extension leads plugged into other extension leads or overload them
  • Never use appliances when your hands are wet
  • Never wrap cables around appliances when they are still warm
  • Never bring mains powered portable appliances such as hairdryers, heaters & radiators into the bathroom
  • Turn off all appliances before bed, unless they are designed to be left on such as a freezer.

This socket calculator by Electrical Safe First will help you check whether you are overloading your plugs at home.


For more safety information visit

Gas safety in your home

As your landlord, we are required by law to carry out a safety check on our gas fittings installed in your home, every year. As a tenant, you too have some responsibilities.

Click here to view these responsibilities, tips on how to avoid putting yourself at risk from faulty gas fittings and what you can expect from us.

Where your gas safety check and service visit becomes due, we are still legally required to visit your home and carry out the inspection EVEN DURING A LOCKDOWN.

Rest assured, all our maintenance teams work to a new strict safe system of work to ensure both your and their safety during the visit. If you or anyone in your household is self isolating or shielding and we contact you to carry out your gas service, you will need to tell us. We will make a note of your circumstances and arrange to return when it is convenient.

Gas Safety Tips
By allowing us prompt access to your home and by following the tips below you can ensure the safety of your gas appliances:

  • Never try DIY with gas.
  • Make sure you know where your gas meter is located and how to turn off the gas in the event of an emergency.
  • Don’t block up air ventilation grilles and ensure that flue terminals are kept clear at all times.
  • Never use a gas appliance if you think it’s not working properly.
  • Never cover gas appliances.
  • Be cautious if buying second hand gas appliances – don’t scrimp on safety.
  • If for any reason you have to move from your existing bedroom to your living room please contact us for further advice.

Gas Leaks
If you think you can smell gas or fumes:

  • Turn off the gas at the meter.
  • Open windows.
  • Put out naked flames.
  • Don’t use electrical CALL CADENT ON 0800 111 999.

Danger signs to look out for
Contact us immediately if you notice:

  • Sooting or staining marks on or around the appliance.
  • A yellow or orange lazy flame – not crisp and blue.
  • A higher level of condensation than normal in the room where the appliance is installed.
  • Anyone in your household suffering from drowsiness, headaches, nausea or pains in the chest when using a gas appliance.


Coronavirus - How to protect yourself and others

With coronavirus COVID-19 currently spreading, the number of confirmed cases in the UK is increasing every day. For the vast majority, the symptoms are thankfully mild.

We are monitoring the situation very closely and taking measures to help inhibit the spread of the virus in line with advice from central Government and Public Health England.

The Government and NHS are well prepared to deal with this virus. You can help too.  The NHS has outlined what steps you can take to help stop coronavirus spreading.

It is particularly important for people who:

  • are 70 or over
  • have a long-term condition
  • are pregnant
  • have a weakened immune system


  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • always wash your hands when you get home or into work
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
  • avoid close contact with people who have symptoms of coronavirus
  • only travel on public transport if you need to
  • work from home, if you can
  • avoid social activities, such as going to pubs, restaurants, theatres and cinemas
  • avoid events with large groups of people
  • use phone, online services, or apps to contact your GP surgery or other NHS services


  • touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
  • have visitors to your home, including friends and family

The Government has also published information that can help keep you and your family safe:

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance

COVID-19: guidance on social distancing and for vulnerable people

Stay at home: guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection

NHS information for COVID-19

NHS Symptom Checker

Find out more at

Download article Print article
Related Articles
We use cookies to ensure we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with this.