Image shows the Woolwich Common Housing Estate

Published: Friday, 5th May 2023

In May last year, we referred ourselves voluntarily to the Regulator of Social Housing, which oversees all council housing.

This was following an internal review where we found we were not fully meeting safety standards in some areas.

For the past nine months, we have been rapidly addressing the backlog and implementing our action plan to improve our safety work. This also includes updating our safety systems, policies and procedures, and making sure we are complying with the Government’s new Building Safety Act 2022, The Fire Safety (England) Regulations and the Fire Safety Act 2021.

These new laws change the way that we manage fire safety in our homes, particularly in taller buildings.

You may already have seen work being carried out in your home. Sometimes, we might contact you to ask for help getting into your building to complete these checks. Please help us by agreeing a time and date for our contractor to visit. All of our staff and contractors carry photo ID and if you want to check their identity you can always contact us on 020 8854 8888.

How do I find out more about the checks in my home?

If you have any questions about safety checks in your home, please contact us by emailing This is the quickest way to contact us. If you are unable to email, please call us on 020 8854 8888. The lines may be quite busy at this time.

An update about the work we are doing to keep you safe

Fire checks & safety

We are working to complete a backlog of outstanding actions from fire checks (called Fire Risk Assessments) which range from minor repairs to bigger jobs like installing new fire doors and emergency lighting in shared areas of some buildings. Every block has an up-to-date fire check in place – if you want to see the one for your block, please contact us by emailing or calling 020 8854 8888.

We aim to complete higher priority actions over the next few months, but other works may take longer to complete. We will keep you updated on our progress.

Fire & smoke alarms

We are checking all smoke alarms in our homes.

Most of our homes already have smoke alarms installed, and our gas engineers will check these when we visit you for an annual gas service.

We will also check for alarms during electrical testing and other repairs visits. Where these are missing or inadequate, we will install new alarms, usually while we are there, and update our records.

Electrical checks

Electrical checks need to be carried out every five years. We do not have an up-to-date electrical test for all of our homes and will be completing checks in every building, to make sure that the electrics in your home remain safe to use.

We have appointed three new contractors to support our repairs team and work started in December 2022.

Asbestos checks

We have fallen behind in checking the shared areas of buildings that are known to have asbestos materials (asbestos containing materials that are in good condition and not disturbed do not pose a risk to health). That’s why we have established a catch up inspection programme which was completed in April 2023.

We also have a catch up programme to deal with follow up actions from asbestos checks. This includes removing or making asbestos safe. The catch up asbestos removals programme finished in April 2023.

Water Safety

All of our water safety checks for preventing legionella (a bacteria which can cause a serious type of pneumonia (lung infection) called Legionnaires' disease) have now been completed and are up to date.

We are also completing some extra checks to make sure that our risk assessment process covers any building with a shared water supply. We aim to complete these double checks on other buildings by the end of 2023.

Gas Safety

We are double checking that your home has a carbon monoxide alarm fitted if it needs one. This is a new requirement for all homes with a gas appliance (except when you just have a gas cooker). We will check this alarm every year during your gas service, and replace it if needed.

This is already in place and we will continue to check that we comply with the law whenever we complete an annual gas service.

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