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Safety in your home

Your health and safety is important to us, which is why we have comprehensive safety procedures in place in relation to fire, gas, carbon monoxide, water, electrics and asbestos.

Fire safety

If there is a fire please follow the evacuation procedure for your building and call 999.

To help keep you safe we recommend the following fire safety advice:

  • Test your smoke and heat alarms weekly. If an alarm is not working check the batteries. If that doesn’t resolve the problem please contact us.
  • Ensure your electrical items are in good working order and you don’t overuse or overload extension leads.
  • Eliminate or reduce the use of candles. If you do use them avoid placing them on or near items which could burn, such as curtains.
  • Familiarise yourself with your building’s fire strategy. This will be displayed on your building’s notice board.
  • Plan your escape route and make sure everyone in your household knows how to escape your property in case of fire.
  • If your front door enters into a communal space ensure your door closer is working correctly.
  • At night ensure you shut all doors inside your home before going to bed, as these provide additional fire protection in case of an emergency.
  • Don’t store anything on your balconies, or decorate them with combustible items which could catch fire such as bamboo screens.
  • Don’t use barbeques on balconies, whether they are shared or private.
  • Don’t charge e-bikes or e-scooters whilst you are asleep or in communal areas.
  • You need to request separate permission from Newlon to store a mobility scooter in your home.

Online guidance and advice from the London Fire Brigade

  • You can find detailed advice and guidance about fire safety in your home by visiting the Fire safety at home page.
  • Or use their Home Fire Safety Checker tool to carry out a thorough check of your home in only a few minutes. It’s simple and practical – giving you specific fire safety advice for you, your family and your home.

Contacting us about fire safety

If you have any questions or enquiries about fire safety please email firesafety@newlon.org.uk. If you have a more urgent enquiry please call our Service Centre on 020 7613 8080. In an emergency please always dial 999.

Gas safety

Gas appliances can be a hazard if they are not properly maintained. A poorly maintained gas appliance may produce carbon monoxide, which can be fatal if breathed in, or be a fire risk.

If you rent your home from us we are will undertake a gas safety check every year. We will arrange for our gas contractors to make an appointment with you to carry one out. We are required to do this by law, and it is a condition of your tenancy that you allow these contractors access to your home.

If you are a leaseholder or Shared Owner it is your responsibility to make sure your gas central heating system and other gas appliances are serviced every year. You must use a Gas Safe registered engineer. We recommend you purchase a British Gas 3 star service agreement or equivalent.

If you smell gas, or suspect there is a gas escape, immediately open all doors and windows and shut off the gas supply tap. This is usually located next to the gas meter, but you should check to make sure. You should then call the National Grid emergency line on 0800 111 999.

Carbon monoxide

Every year about 30 people in the UK die from carbon monoxide poisoning, as a result of gas appliances and flues which have not been properly installed or maintained.

You are particularly at risk when you are asleep because you cannot recognise the early symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. These can include tiredness, drowsiness, headache, nausea, pains in the chest and stomach pains.

If you believe you have been exposed to carbon monoxide then you should urgently seek medical advice. Carbon monoxide quickly leaves the blood and tests can be inaccurate if taken more than four hours after exposure has ended. So the faster you act, the better.

Water safety

We carry out a risk assessment on all properties with a communal water supply every two years. If there is any risk to your safety then we will take any action needed. Most of our properties, particularly homes with water supplied direct from the mains to combination boilers, will be very low risk. However we may want to check water temperatures or take water samples for testing.

Depending on these results we may need to clean your water system or change your piping layout to reduce risk. If your boiler needs replacing it may be changed to a combination boiler to avoid the need to store water, as this can reduce risks.

We carry out periodic water risk assessments of our properties. These assessments are to ensure that the water system in your home meets safety regulations. You can find out more about the guidelines we are expected to follow in relation to water safety on the Health and Safety Executive’s website.

In addition we recommend that you take the following steps:

  • If water outlets are not used at least weekly then run them for a minimum of two minutes before use.
  • Outside taps should also be flushed through before use if not used on a regular basis.
  • If you have been away from home for more than a week we advise you to run water outlets for two minutes before use.
  • Water from storage butts should not be used for spraying from a hose or as a supply for jet washers.
  • Clean and descale shower heads on a quarterly basis or when you notice a visible build-up of limescale.
  • Make sure your taps are kept clean and free from limescale build up.

Important notice for residents on dialysis

If you are receiving dialysis please make sure you let us know so we can make our water safety technicians aware. In housing with communal tanks some of the chemicals used to make sure your water supply is safe can be present in trace amounts even when the system has been completely flushed through. These are entirely harmless to most people but can potentially be harmful to people on dialysis.

Please contact us if you are receiving dialysis as we cannot know about this unless you make us aware. Call us on 020 7613 8080 or email customerservice@newlon.org.uk.

Electrical safety

We check the electrical systems in all our rented properties every five years, to ensure they are safe and make any necessary repairs. Our contractors will contact you to arrange any appointments needed. It is a condition of your tenancy that you allow these contractors access to your home.

If you are a leaseholder or Shared Owner you are responsible for carrying out your own electrical safety checks. We advise you to do this regularly.

Further information on electrical safety can be found at www.nhmf.co.uk/bestpractice/compliance/electrical.


Asbestos can cause serious health problems including hardening of the lungs, lung cancer and cancer of the chest cavity. If asbestos is not damaged and left alone then it will not be dangerous. However, it can be dangerous if it is damaged or disturbed, such as during home improvement works.

Contact us if you think you have found asbestos in your home or you are planning on doing any DIY.

Contacting us about health and safety in the home

If you have questions about health and safety in your home then please call 020 7613 8080 or email customerservice@newlon.org.uk.

Further Information

You can find advice and guidance in our health and safety in your home leaflet:

Fire safety information

Maintaining the safety of our residents and the buildings they live in is our top priority. We have a dedicated Building Safety Team who work closely with qualified experts and the London Fire Brigade, with whom we are also in a Primary Authority Partnership.

What we’re doing to keep you safe

  • We are committed to implementing the recommendations from Dame Judith Hackitt’s review of building safety.
  • We follow all relevant Government guidelines relating to fire safety and Fire Risk Assessments (FRAs), including the Fire Safety Act 2021, which states that FRAs include external walls of all residential buildings, irrespective of height.
  • We deliver an ongoing rolling programme of regular FRAs on the buildings we manage (for those 18m and higher we do this every year or sooner) and make sure that any actions raised are resolved by the given deadline.
  • Fire doors help stop the spread of fire or smoke and we check them regularly in the buildings we manage.
  • We take action if we find items or belongings being stored in any communal areas or cupboards. If any items are flammable, we may remove them immediately.

How you can help

If you have any concerns or need to raise fire safety repairs in our buildings please contact us by calling 020 7613 8080 or emailing firesafety@newlon.org.uk. Please call us if the matter is urgent and in an emergency you should always call the emergency services on 999.

Safety is everyone’s responsibility and you also have a crucial part to play. It’s important that you and the people you live with know what to do in the event of an emergency and also how to reduce the risk of fire in and around your home. Please read the advice and recommendations below carefully.

Alarms and detectors

There are two types of detectors that you can find in your home: smoke detection and heat detection (heat detectors are usually found in your kitchen). There should be one detector on every level of your home. Test your smoke alarm regularly to make sure it works – we recommend checking it once a week. If you don’t have a smoke alarm, you can get one for free by phoning the London Fire Brigade on 0800 028 4428. If your detector starts beeping this means the battery is low. Please don’t remove the battery until you are ready to replace it with a new one immediately and never cover the detector to silence the beeping.

Barbecues (BBQs)

BBQs on balconies are a major fire risk and are not allowed.

Please be aware that BBQs can stay hot for hours, so be really careful moving them. They also give off carbon monoxide fumes for several hours after they go out, so don’t bring them indoors with you.

Candles and naked flames

Some fires are started by candles, incense and oil burners. Please make sure these are safely put out before leaving the room, especially at night when there is a risk you could fall asleep.

Place these items on a flat, fire-resistant, stable surface away from flammable items like curtains, furniture and clothes. Where possible purchase LED, battery-operated candles as these will reduce the risk of fire starting.

Escape routes

It’s important that the Fire Brigade can reach you easily if there’s a fire and that you can get out of your home quickly and easily in an emergency. Take some time to plan and practice an escape route with your family (usually the best escape route is the way into your home). Wherever possible plan a second route in case this one is blocked. If there are older people or young children make a plan that includes helping them out safely and keep any keys you need in the same place so you can find them quickly. Every night check your escape route is clear.

If you live in a home with a balcony, you should keep it clear. If your balcony is cluttered it can contribute to the spread of fire and prevent the fire services from doing their jobs properly. Please do not smoke on your balcony. Please remember to be aware of the evacuation strategy for your building and whether the advice is to stay put or evacuate in the event of a fire. If you are unsure what this is please call us on 020 7613 8080 or email firesafety@newlon.org.uk.

Festive fire safety

Festive decorations really brighten up our homes at any time of year. But it’s also important to make sure they’re safe. Here are our top festive fire safety tips:

Christmas trees

If you opt for a live tree, remember that they can dry out and become a fire hazard, so make sure you:

  • Keep it well-watered.
  • Place it away from heat sources.
  • Dispose of it after the festive period (check your council website to find out about tree collection dates).

Fairy lights and electrically lit Christmas trees

  • Turn all the lights off before you go to bed and whenever you go out.
  • Be careful not to overload sockets with lots of plugs from multiple strings of lights.
  • Don’t let the bulbs touch anything that can easily burn.

Candles and tea lights

  • Put your candles or tea lights in snug-fitting holders on heat resistant surfaces.
  • Make sure all candles are completely extinguished before you go to bed or if you go out.
  • Place them away from curtains and out of any draughts.
  • Make sure there’s more than one metre between your candles or tea lights and any surface above them.
  • Keep them well out of reach of children and pets.

Paper chains and other decorations

  • Make sure you keep any decorations well away from heaters, lights, candles and fireplaces.

Kitchen safety

Around 60% of fires in the home begin in the kitchen. Please don’t leave your cooking unattended. When you’ve finished, double-check that everything is off and that any hot surfaces are clear. Be careful of wearing loose clothing when you cook. Over time, grease can build up in the oven, hob and extractor – keeping them clean will reduce the risk of fire.


Smoking is a leading cause of fire fatalities in the UK. If you smoke, please make sure cigarettes are put out and disposed of properly. It is safer to smoke outside but never smoke or throw cigarettes off balconies. If you do smoke indoors, avoid smoking in bed or in armchairs and sofas if you are tired and don’t balance lit cigarettes on the edge of an ashtray or anything else. Run water on your ashtray before you empty it. If you use a vape, always use the charger that came with it. Check the battery for damage, buy from a reputable seller and do not leave it charging for extended periods.


There are an increasing amount of fires caused by e-scooters and e-bikes as a result of the batteries overheating. The majority of these fires have happened in homes and they are often caused when charging batteries but sometimes fires from e-bikes and e-scooters can occur at other times, for example when the batteries are hot and they are still being used. Please do not attempt to modify or tamper with the battery and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when charging them. To reduce the risk of batteries overheating, allow them to cool down before attempting to re-charge. Batteries should also always be charged on hard flat surfaces where heat can dissipate. Batteries can also pose a risk if they have been damaged, so try to ensure they are not getting knocked around while in use or while being carried. You should never leave the battery charging unattended or charge it while you are asleep. You should unplug your charger once it’s finished charging and always use the correct charger for your batteries and buy any replacements from a reputable seller.

Please for up to date guidance and information about e-bikes/scooters, please see the advice from the London Fire Brigade.

In 2021 Transport for London (TfL) banned e-scooters from London’s transport network. This is due to a number of fires on the network involving these vehicles. This means you’re unable to take your electric personal vehicles on any TfL service. You can read TfL’s full guidance on e-scooters on their site. Not all personal electric vehicles, such as e-scooters and e-unicycles are road legal in the UK. This means you could be fined by the police for using them on the road in the UK. Always check to see if you can use your vehicle on public roads.

For safety reasons we also need to assess and approve any mobility scooters that would be stored in your home or on Newlon property. Please contact our Service Centre to enquire about this.

Fire safety in your building

It’s very important that communal areas such as corridors, walkways and fire doors are kept clear of obstructions like rubbish, prams, bikes, furniture or clothes. This is so everyone can safely escape the building if they need to and firefighters can safely enter and exit the building when fighting a fire. We ask residents not to leave any items outside their home including door mats, shoes, plant pots, bikes and pushchairs as all of these items pose a potential risk in the event of a fire. If you find rubbish or other items blocking communal areas or fire escapes, please contact us.

Communal service cupboards

There are a number of cupboards in blocks of flats to access gas, water or electrical services. These are not storage cupboards and should be kept locked; residents must not use them to store items as it increases the risk of fire starting and spreading. If you notice a cupboard that has a damaged or open door or is full of items, please contact us as soon as possible.

If you find rubbish or anything blocking communal areas or fire escapes, please contact us.

Gas cylinder devices

Gas cylinder devices, including portable gas heaters, gas-fuelled barbecues and blow torches, pose the risk of fire or explosions. We don’t allow gas cylinder devices to be used or stored anywhere on our estates, including on balconies, in roof-top gardens, communal gardens and indoor communal areas. Contact your local council to arrange disposal.

Fire doors

Doors throughout the building, including your front door, are designed to prevent fire and smoke from spreading. Please do not make any changes to your door or leave it propped open. If you come across any door in your building that is damaged please tell us about it us as soon as possible. If the door is left open please close it immediately.

Electrical safety

A large number of domestic fires are caused by electrical faults. Read our quick guide to electrical safety below. It’s vital to look after electrical equipment – just because something works doesn’t mean it’s safe. To make sure your home is safe, you should inspect electrical fittings and equipment to make sure they’re in good condition. Look out for the following:


  • Plugs should fit tightly into sockets.
  • Their casing should be free from cracks.
  • Watch out for burn marks or signs of overheating.
  • The cable should be firmly secured in the plug.
  • None of the pins should be bent.
  • The cardboard label on the bottom of the plug should be removed.
  • Plugs shouldn’t rattle.

Electrical leads

  • Leads should be free from cuts, fraying and damage.
  • Don’t use two or three-way multi-way adaptors.
  • If you’re using an extension lead, make sure it’s fully uncoiled.


  • Sockets should be free from cracks or other damage.
  • Check them for burn marks and signs of overheating.
  • Make sure they’re properly secured to the wall.
  • Make sure the switch works properly.


Check that your light fittings are not visibly damaged, or that lampholders are not damaged, scorched or corroded. Check downlighters and their surroundings for signs of overheating such as curled labels and discolouration or scorching.

Consumer units and electricity meters

Check the consumer unit (fusebox) and electricity meter. Check that you are not storing combustible materials around your consumer unit and electricity meter.
Test regularly the residual current devices (RCDs) in your consumer units by pressing the “test” button every three months. Press and release the “test” button on the RCD/RCBO and the power should “trip”. If you are a Newlon tenant and the RCD/RCBO fails to operate correctly please report to Newlon. Leaseholders and shareholders should contact a skilled electrician.

Carrying out electrical work yourself

You must have our permission before any electrical work is carried out in your home and we’ll need confirmation that the work has been done by a qualified person.
Electrical work must always be carried out by an electrician registered with the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting (NICEIC). The NICEIC website allows you to search for registered electricians in your area, as well as providing safety advice for householders.

Find out more by reading the Electrical Safety Council’s guide ‘How Safe is Your Home?’ and look at the guidance provided by the Electrical Safety Council.