21 August 2020
Now the summer holidays are here and families are spending more time together at home, it’s a great opportunity to think about how you can make small changes that will contribute to the safety of your house.
The safety of your development is our number one priority. Did you know that earlier this year FirstPort was awarded five stars by the British Safety Council for the fourth year running for our health, safety and environmental management? Whilst health and safety is our area of expertise, we also believe it’s important that our residents understand the part they can play in keeping their home as safe as it can be.
According to the National Fire Chiefs Council, firefighters are called to a greater number of domestic fires at times when more people are at home – for instance, evenings, weekends and bank holidays. As we’re all likely to be cooking and using our electrical appliances much more around our homes, we wanted to share some advice which may help you to minimise the risk of a fire.
Fire safety in your development:
- Keep communal areas clear of clutter. Never leave bin bags, bicycles, children’s buggies, wheelchairs or mobility scooters, plant pots or other obstructions in communal corridors or walkways.
- Never wedge fire doors open in corridors.
Fire safety in your home:
- Keep all exits from the home clear, so people can get out easily if there is a fire.
- Do not store anything on a balcony, patio or in a garden that could easily catch fire and cause a fire to spread.
- Never overload electrical sockets.
- Never leave candles unattended or burning when you go to bed.
- Stub out cigarettes fully and do not smoke in bed.
- Keep doors closed at night – make sure you shut doors before heading to bed, especially to your lounge and kitchen. This simple action will help prevent a fire in your flat from spreading.
Another area to consider is water hygiene. It is FirstPort’s responsibility to maintain the highest standard of water hygiene in the communal areas of the developments we manage. However, having the right advice means that you can make sure you have fresh, clean water inside your own home too.
In the most extreme cases, stagnant or stored water can cause legionella bacteria to develop. This can cause Legionnaires disease as a result of breathing in tiny droplets of water containing bacteria, although the risk is extremely low. More common, an unhealthy water supply can cause an upset stomach, which isn’t pleasant, so knowing the ways to keep your water supply clean is definitely worthwhile.
Follow these simple steps to keep your home’s water supply clean and healthy.
If you have been away from your property for a week or more:
- Shower – flush this out safely, and without creating water droplets, by placing the shower head in a plastic carrier bag, filling the bag with water then gently pouring the water away.
- Toilet – flush twice to circulate fresh water through the system and empty the cistern, ensuring the lid is down. If you have a Clos-o-mat bidet-toilet you should switch it off at the wall if you intend to be away from the property for a week or more so warm water is not left standing in the cistern.
- Clean your shower/ spray taps of scale and debris every three to six months, or earlier if scaling is evident.
- If you have an electric hot-water tank, it is advised that you fully heat the water to 60˚c at least two to three times per week.
You can find more tips and other useful health and safety advice at healthandsafety.firstport.co.uk
We hope that these tips help you and your family to stay safe and well.