Home safety advice

We all want our homes to be places where we can be safe and feel safe.

At Phoenix we are committed to ensuring the safety of our residents in their homes, buildings, and communities.

To help us keep your home safe, there are a few simple steps you can take.  Follow the links below.  

Building safety

Following the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower in 2017, the Government is introducing new building safety and fire safety legislation, including the Building Safety Act 2022. 

The Building Safety Act 2023 relates mainly to buildings that are more than 18 metres or seven storyes in height. We have five buildings that meet this criteria:

  • Kingsfield House 
  • Merryfield House 
  • Nuthatch House 
  • Nayland House 
  • Millcroft House

​In 2023 we contracted Frankham RMS to undertake several surveys on these buildings, including fire door surveys, external wall surveys and intrusive fire risk assessments. 

Work to complete any remedial actions identified has started at two of our high rise buildings, with work on the final three beginning approximately between October 2024 and March 2025.  

If you live in any of the five buildings above, please read our Building and Fire Safety Policy (link required) and our Fire Safety in Your Home booklet (link required). The guide contains extremely valuable information about building safety measures found in your block and your home.  

If you would like more information about building safety and how it affects your buildings, please contact us buildingsafety@phoenixch.org.uk. 

We’ve updated our fire safety guide for residents who live in Phoenix buildings. The guide contains extremely valuable information about building safety measures found in your block and your home. You can view our FAQs.

Fire safety

Fire Safety is important regardless of if you live in a house or a block of flats. Below is some advice on how to keep yourself and your neighbours safe from risk of fire. 

Key advice

  • Make sure you know where the fire escape routes are from your home and building. 
  • Install a smoke alarm within your home and test it regularly. We have a legal duty to ensure that you have a working smoke alarm and will check this as part of your annual gas safety check. 
  • If you see an object blocking any of the fire escapes, please move it if it is safe to do so, or report it to your caretaker.
  • Please do not leave fire doors wedged open.
  • Please do not store items in communal (shared) areas such as corridors and balconies
  • Make it a habit to keep the exits from your home clear, so that people can escape if there is a fire.
  • Make sure that everyone in your home can easily find the keys for doors and windows - always keep them in the same place.
  • Ensure cigarettes and cigars are put out properly in an ashtray, then disposed of appropriately.
  • Keep mirrors and other reflective materials like glass and crystal away from sunny windows as the reflection can start a blaze. 

Keeping your balcony safe

  • Don’t barbecue on your balcony, sparks can fall down to the homes below
  • Never store easily combustible materials on your balcony like clothes or soft furnishings 
  • Don’t keep paints, paint thinners or fuel on your balcony  
  • If smoking on your balcony, dispose of smoking materials responsibly and do not flick lit cigarettes off of a balcony. Use safety ash trays to extinguish cigarettes. 

If you discover a fire:

  • raise the alarm
  • leave the building immediately by the nearest available exit if it is safe to do so
  • move to a safe distance away from the building
  • phone the Fire Brigade by dialing 999 or 112 
  • remain a safe distance away from the building and await the Fire Brigade.

If the fire is in your home:

  • tell everyone in your home and get them to leave the building closing your front door behind you
  • move to a safe distance away from the building
  • call the Fire Brigade by dialing 999 or 112 asking for FIRE
  • remain a safe distance away from the building and await the Fire Brigade.

If you see or hear of a fire in another part of the building:

  • stay put in your home as this will usually be the safest option unless you are directly affected by the fire. Close all windows and be prepared to leave.
  • phone the Fire Brigade by dialing 999 or 112 and asking for FIRE.
  • you must leave the building immediately if smoke or fire directly affects your home or you are directed to do so by the Fire Brigade. Close your front door behind you.
  • move to a safe distance away the building, remain there and await the Fire Brigade.


  • Do not take risks
  • Do not stop to collect personal belongings
  • Do not return to the building for any reason unless authorised to do so
  • Do not use any lift.

Gas safety

If you think you can smell gas:

  • put out any flames
  • do not touch any electrical appliances
  • open all windows and doors
  • leave the property.

Then call National Grid immediately on 0800 111999. Do not use your phone within the property.

We have a legal duty as your landlord to check gas appliances and flues are safe. We carry out an annual safety check at all tenant properties, along with an annual service of any gas appliance belonging to us. Gas leaks can be fatal. Our gas safety checks and servicing protect you, your family and your neighbours.

Please help us by letting us into your home on the first arranged appointment. We will contact you six to eight weeks before the check is due. If you cannot make the appointment for any reason, please contact us so that we rearrange it.

If we are not able to complete your gas service and safety check after several appointments, we will request court permission to force entry to your property.

Home adaptations:

It’s important that you let us know if you are planning to make any adaptations to your home. Unauthorised changes to your home could make it unsafe and will result in a breach of your tenancy agreement or lease. 

“Leans to’s” are becoming a more common home adaption and include structures such as carports, extensions and gazebos. 

Lean-to’s, when covering a flue, can lead to the products of combustion not escaping correctly, preventing the gas from escaping into the open air. This poses serious risk to life, and can affect the warranty of your boiler. Any adaptions to try and make your boiler or flue safe should be carried out by a Gas Safe Registered engineer.

Help us to keep you safe by notifying us about any adaptions you’d like to make to your home. 


Carbon monoxide

Carbon monoxide poisoning can be fatal and is caused by gas appliances and flues which have not been properly installed or maintained.

There are no obvious signs of carbon monoxide, you can't see, taste or smell it. The early symptoms of poisoning include tiredness, drowsiness, headaches and pains.

We have a legal duty to ensure that you have a working carbon monoxide detector and we will check this as part of your annual gas safety check. 

You are at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning if:

  • your gas appliance has been poorly installed
  • your appliance is not working properly
  • your appliance has not been checked for safety or maintained regularly
  • there is not enough fresh air in the room
  • your chimney or flue gets blocked up
  • you allow unqualified people to install or maintain your appliance.

Action you can take:

  • Always let us in to carry out your annual gas safety check.
  • Never use a gas appliance if you think it's not working properly. Signs to look out for include yellow or orange flames, soot or stains around the appliance and pilot lights which frequently blow out.
  • Never cover an appliance or block the convection air vents.
  • Never block or obstruct any fixed ventilation grills or air bricks.
  • Never block or cover outside flues.
  • Take care. Whenever draught exclusion, double glazing or a conservatory extension is fitted to a room containing a gas appliance, the appliance should be checked for safety afterwards.

Please contact us if you would like further advice.


Electrical safety

Almost half of all domestic fires are caused by electricity.

As your landlord it is our responsibility to ensure that the electrical wiring and fittings in your home are safe to use.

We carry out checks to the electrical wiring in your home every five years to identify any defects or required repairs.

For your own safety, you should:

  1. take care of your own electrical appliances and visually check them regularly
  2. remember to switch off electrical appliances when they are not being used
  3. take care not to overload electrical sockets with plug adaptors as they can overheat and cause fires
  4. never touch electrical appliances or switches with wet hands
  5. never use mains powered electrical appliances in your bathroom.

If you have any questions about electrical safety, please contact us.


Asbestos was widely used in the construction industry in the 20th century. It is possible that some materials containing asbestos were used when your home was built or adapted.

We regularly carry out asbestos surveys on all of our properties and maintain a register to safely manage the risk of asbestos to you and your family.

We also maintain a register of where asbestos has been located, removed or is presumed present to ensure that we safely manage asbestos.

Asbestos fibres are only a danger to health if you breathe or swallow them. As long as asbestos is not damaged or located somewhere it can be easily damaged, it is not a risk to you.

Asbestos is very hard to identify. If you think that there may be some in your home, please leave it alone. It is safe unless damaged or disturbed. If you are in any doubt, please contact us.

If asbestos does need to be removed, this will be done by a qualified asbestos removal contractor. We will discuss with you how we can work together to do this as safely as possible.

For your safety you must:

  1. take precautions to avoid damaging anything that contains asbestos
  2. not carry out DIY on an area where you think asbestos is present
  3. ask us for permission before carrying out anything other than basic decoration work to your home
  4. soak wallpaper before stripping it and use a steam stripper if possible.

If you think that you find asbestos:

  1. don’t panic - it is safe unless disturbed or damaged
  2. do not try to remove it – this must be done by a specialist
  3. do not carry out any DIY on anything that you know or suspect to contain asbestos.


Water safety

Legionella bacteria is a common form of bacteria found in water systems. You can take steps to reduce the risk of bacteria multiplying.

The bacteria can multiply in temperatures between 20-45°C. This type of bacteria can cause Legionnaires’ disease which is a serious lung infection, caused by inhaling water droplets containing legionella bacteria.

Anyone can develop Legionnaires’ disease but vulnerable residents are most at risk, such as those with ill health or respiratory problems.

The symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease can be similar to flu and may include a high temperature, mild headaches, muscle pain, chills, tiredness and changes to your mental state.

To reduce and manage the risk of exposure to legionella, we complete water safety risk assessments for all of our properties and communal stored water tanks. We also service and maintain our water systems regularly to ensure they are safe for you to use.

We recommend that you:

  1. regularly clean and disinfect showerheads
  2. inform us if your hot water is not working properly
  3. run water outlets that are rarely used for a couple of minutes every two weeks
  4. allow access to your home for a water safety risk assessment.

Please contact us if you would like us to carry out a water safety check on your home, or would like more information.