Creating homes and places where people want to live

Safety

You are responsible for keeping your home safe and secure. 

Fire Safety

Fire Safety

Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service will come and do a free home fire safety visit to help you identify potential fire risks. They can also give advice about how to prevent or contain fires. You can book a visit from them by calling 0115 967 5948. These visits are completely free and you may also be eligible for a free smoke alarm.

Read our fact sheet with useful information in our Fire Safety Leaflet.

Smoke alarms

Check your smoke alarm every week by pressing the test button. Don’t climb to reach it – you can use a sweeping brush, a garden cane or a walking stick. Don’t, under any circumstances, check the alarm using a naked flame.

If you discover a fire:

  • raise the alarm by calling 999
  • leave by the nearest safe exit as soon as possible.

Fire and incident safety in flats

We advise that you familiarise yourself with the fire notices in your block.

Read about Fire Safety in Flats - including fire risk assessments for your block.

You can read more about our commitment to fit sprinklers in all our high rise blocks on our Sprinklers page. 

Gas Safety

Gas safety

By law, we must service your gas boiler and fire(s) once a year. We must also check that your gas supply and the supply pipes to your gas cooker are safe. Having your gas cooker serviced is your responsibility.

We’ll write to you with an appointment that will be within a two-hour time slot. If you need to rearrange the appointment for a more convenient day or time, please ring the number on the letter or email us. Appointments are available Monday to Saturday.

Everyone who keeps their appointment is entered into a prize draw for £100 which is drawn every three months. Keeping your appointment also helps towards your Responsible Tenant Reward.

Please work with us to keep your gas servicing up to date. It’s a condition of your tenancy that you have to let us in to do the service - if you don't, we’ll have to take court action to get access, and you’ll have to pay the court costs.

Gas safety during the coronavirus pandemic

Our priority remains to keep you and our staff safe. While we’re minimising home visits where possible to avoid spreading the virus, guidance from the government says that we must continue to deliver our legal duty to carry out annual gas safety checks.

 What you can expect when your gas safety check is due

  • We’ll write to you at least 35 days before your appointment, to give you plenty of notice. When we write, we’ll give you an appointment date and time, and we’ll tell you how to get in touch if you have any concerns or need to change your appointment.
  • We’ll then phone and text you a few days before the appointment, to remind you that we’re coming and answer any questions you might have.
  • When our gas engineers get to your house on the day, they’ll knock on your door, then step back two metres. They won’t be wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at this point. When you come to the door, they’ll ask questions about anyone self-isolating in your home.
  • If both you and the gas engineer are happy that the appointment can go ahead, they will put on the appropriate PPE, and they’ll request that you go into another room while they carry out the check. This is for your safety and theirs.
  • The safety check will last around 40 minutes and you will not need to sign anything or handle any paperwork. Once the check is complete, the engineer will leave your home, and will remove their PPE ready for disposal.

How you can help 

  • Please be in when we come to do your gas service
  • If you have a problem with your appointment, please email us. 

If you smell gas:

Do:

  • turn the gas off at the meter
  • open doors and windows
  • call National Gas FREE on 0800 111 999 or Textphone 0800 371787. If they tell you that there’s a problem with a council-owned gas appliance, please phone us on 0115 915 2222 to arrange a repair.

Don't:

  • turn light switches or other electric switches on or off, or use an intercom
  • light cigarettes, lighters or matches.

Carbon monoxide

Carbon monoxide can kill. You can’t see or smell it, but if you breathe it in you’ll get tired and dizzy, maybe with a headache and chest pain.

If you have a carbon monoxide alarm, test it regularly. Don’t paint it or cover it up.

If the alarm sounds, or if you have any worry about carbon monoxide escaping, call the National Gas Emergency Freephone Service on 0800 111 999 straight away.

Switch off all your gas appliances and open doors and windows.

Electricity

Electricity

When you move in, we’ll tell you where the consumer unit and mains electrical switch are in your home.

You should unplug electrical equipment if you’re not using it, particularly when you’re going to bed.

You should also make sure you use good quality plugs that are properly wired and fitted with the correct fuse.

Don’t:

  • use an appliance with a damaged lead
  • use plugs or sockets that are chipped or cracked
  • run an appliance from a light fitting
  • overload sockets with adaptors
  • hang clothes over a storage heater or gas fire.

High Rise Building Safety

Our Building Safety team is your point of contact for high rise building safety and information.

You can contact them about the external fabric of your high rise block, communal areas, building services and fire safety.

Neil Hilliard looks after The Woodlands - Pine View, Oak View, Willow View, Ash View, Elm View – and Southchurch Court. You can contact him on 07712 232 176.

Glenn Sutton looks after Winchester and Woodthorpe Courts, Colwick Woods Court, and Bentinck, Manvers and Kingston Courts. You can contact him on 07562 435 755.

They both look after the Victoria Centre flats.

You can contact either Neil or Glenn by email.  

Legionnaire's disease

Legionnaire's disease

Legionnaires’ disease is a serious infection of the lungs and is caused by Legionella bacteria. Infection is caused by breathing in tiny droplets of water contaminated by the bacteria. The disease cannot be passed from one person to another, and drinking water is highly unlikely to cause infection.

Everyone is potentially susceptible to infection but some people are at higher risk, for example, those over 45 years of age, smokers and heavy drinkers, those suffering from chronic respiratory or kidney disease and people whose immune system is impaired.

Where are Legionella bacteria found?

Legionella bacteria is common in natural watercourses such as rivers and ponds. Since bacteria is widespread in the environment, they may contaminate and grow in other water systems such as hot and cold water services.

They survive at low temperatures and thrive at temperatures between 20-45°C if the conditions are right, for example, if a supply of nutrients is present such as rust, sludge, scale, algae, and other bacteria. They are killed by high temperatures.

How do people get it?

The agent that causes Legionnaires’ disease is a bacterium called Legionella pneumophila. People catch Legionnaires’ disease by breathing in tiny droplets of water suspended in the air, which contain the bacteria.

Certain conditions increase the risk of legionella:

  • water temperature that is suitable for growth: 20-45°C
  • a source of nutrients for the organism, for example, sludge, scale, rust, algae, and other organic matter
  • a way of creating and spreading breathable droplets, e.g. the aerosol created by a tap, shower head or toilet.

However, remember that most people exposed to Legionella do not become ill.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease are similar to the symptoms of the flu:

  • high temperature, feverishness, and chills
  • cough
  • muscle pains
  • headache, leading to pneumonia.
  • very occasionally diarrhoea and signs of mental confusion.

How is it treated?

The illness is treated with an antibiotic called erythromycin, which must be prescribed by your doctor or a hospital.

What to do if you think you have contracted Legionnaires’ disease?

If you develop the above symptoms and you are worried that it might be Legionnaires’ disease, see your doctor. If you are diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease please make your local housing office aware.

Because it is similar to the flu, it is not always easy to diagnose. A blood or urine test is needed to determine whether an illness is, or is not Legionnaires’ disease.

What can I do to reduce the risk of Legionella?

We recommend you run all your taps and your shower for a couple of minutes each week to prevent the build-up of harmful bacteria. We also recommend you clean your shower-head every month to prevent the build-up of limescale.

To clean shower-heads, remove your shower-head from the wall. Fill a bowl with neat vinegar and let the shower-head soak in it for a few hours. Leave overnight if it’s especially badly scaled. Then scrub the holes with a toothbrush. If the holes are still clogged or green, use a toothpick or pin to clean them out. Rinse well and put the shower-head back where it belongs.

Gold or brass finished shower-heads are coated to protect them from oxidation. If you use anything abrasive, you can ruin the finish on your fixture. Do not let your fixture soak for more than 30 minutes at a time. If you soak the shower-head any longer, the finish on your fixture could be damaged.

Legionella may be present in your water system if you have been away from your home for a significant period of time. Legionella, if breathed in through the inhalation of water vapour, can be harmful and lead to Legionnaire’s disease that can be fatal.

Before using your water supply please do the following to make sure you’re safe:

All taps – Place a tea towel over the tap and run water through the tap for two minutes. The tea towel will protect you from breathing in water droplets splashing back from the sink. Repeat this for all hot and cold taps.

Showers – Place a plastic bag over the shower-head and secure it using something like an elastic band. Cut a small hole in the corner of the bag for water to escape and run the shower for two minutes. The plastic bag will prevent any spray and protect you.

Toilets – Put the toilet lid down and flush the toilet. Always flush the toilet with the lid in the down position - the toilet lid will protect you from the spray. This will bring fresh, safe water into your water system.