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Essential health and safety inspections

Why do we need safety checks during COVID-19?

We need to carry on doing essential safety checks in people's homes, in line with government guidance and for your safety.

We are continuing to carry out the following checks and inspections within your home and communal areas, whilst maintaining social distancing:

  • gas safety check, every 12 months
  • communal lift inspections, twice a year
  • communal lift servicing, 10 times a year
  • water hygiene tests to communal or shared water tanks
  • fire risk assessments to blocks of flats.

If you have a stairlift or personal lifting equipment within your home, we need to check and service that as well.

To keep everyone safe, a member of our staff or our contractors will have the correct personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, masks and overalls, if necessary. And they will ask you:

  • when booking an appointment if you are unwell or self-isolating
  • to respect social distancing guidance and stay at least 2 metres away from attending staff
  • to please wait in another room while the checks are carried out.

What if I'm self-isolating?

These safety checks are essential to protect you and your household. Should you advise us that you are self-isolating, we will still need to attend your home, but we will ensure that our staff or contractors wear appropriate PPE and carry out the necessary work safely.

Gas safety check

We carry out a safety check every year to make sure that gas appliances such as your boiler continue to work safely - this is a legal requirement.

If you have any concerns about letting our gas engineer into your home, please call the gas section on 0800 317 715 or email  Gas-Section@royalgreenwich.gov.uk.

Read more about annual gas checks

Lifts including stairlifts and personal lifting equipment

We are continuing with our communal and personal lift servicing and inspections, in line with government regulations.

These essential inspections are carried out by our contractors and ensure the safety, reliability and availability of lift equipment within council properties.

To ensure social distancing, we encourage you not to enter communal lifts with anyone outside of your household and to wash or sanitise your hands after touching the lift buttons.

Water hygiene 

We take the risk of legionella, bacteria found in natural water systems, very seriously and test communal water tanks regularly.

We have a legal obligation to ensure the continued safe use and operation of all communal residential water services including water tanks, which is why we carry out an inspection at least once a year.

HSL are our water services contractor and their engineers carry out these inspections on our behalf.

In some cases, communal tanks have to be accessed via an individual resident’s loft. These tanks still have to be checked, so our engineer will require access. This inspection does not mean that any work is done by the engineer in the flat, they only have to get into the loft with a ladder to do the check.

Fire safety

You may see our fire safety team in your block, carrying out fire risk assessments or other fire safety inspections.

Our fire safety team need to carry out inspections of communal areas in blocks of flats to ensure they are safe. Inspections are carried out in line Government and Housing Sector Fire Safety Guidance during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

All operatives will be wearing PPE to protect themselves and residents, and will be following social distancing rules.

Please continue to follow fire safety instructions of the building. You can help by ensuring there is no build-up of rubbish within communal areas or outside of your block. If you notice a build-up please report this to fire-safety@royalgreenwich.gov.uk. You can also help by keeping fire doors closed, not smoking in communal areas and keeping evacuation routes clear.

More on fire safety