CoronavirusFrequently Asked Questions

Estate, blocks, communal and playground areas

By May 4, 2020 No Comments

Fire Safety in flats

We appreciate how difficult it can be to live in a flat while access to the outdoors is so restricted by government guidance. However, it’s really important that we keep focussing on everyone’s safety.

Please can we remind flat dwellers of the following requirements which are there to ensure fire risk and other health and safety issues are minimised

Balconies and terraces

  • Barbecues or any other forms of cooking must not be used on balconies under any circumstances; an incident on one balcony could quickly affect others.
  • Please limit outdoor furniture and storage to reasonable levels and only use items intended for outdoor use and of fire rated quality. Only non-flammable items should be stored on balconies. Any lights must be suitable for outdoor use.
  • Extensive storage is not permitted on balconies. We understand that most local tips and bulk refuse services are closed at present, but please don’t use your balcony to store bulk refuse or unwanted items
  • White goods and other electric items (such as fridges and tumble dryers) are a high fire risk if stored outside and should never be stored or used on balconies
  • Because of safety issues we ask that you avoid smoking on balconies, if your balcony is used by smokers please make sure that cigarette ends are disposed of correctly.

Inside your flat

  • Please check regularly that smoke or heat detectors are in working condition and are not disconnected or covered – press the test button to make sure they sound. Please let us know immediately if they’re faulty
  • Please use candles with care
  • Be aware to not overload sockets and or extension leads

Communal areas

Please do not store or leave anything in communal areas. This presents a potential fire risk and potential trip hazards. Even things that seem non-flammable and safely put aware in corners or under stairs can become major hazards in the event of a fire when smoke and panic can make people very disorientated.

This is especially important right now as our inspections of communal areas are reduced due to the government restrictions. Please note however, we are still carrying out some inspections and anything left in communal areas will be removed without notice, for everyone’s safety. This still includes door mats.

Social distancing  

Is vitally important in communal areas that the government guidelines around social distancing are observed. Please be aware of this in all indoor and outdoor communal areas and any lifts in your building.

Please also remember that people will be at home more than usual right now, so there may be more noise from neighbours than you’re used to. Please try to be mindful of your neighbours and tolerant if there’s a little more household noise than normal. However, do let us know if you are experiencing unreasonable amounts of noise and you haven’t been able to resolve this with your neighbours.

Estate Services

Our Estate Services contractors have been working hard to deliver a normal service, however due to the new restrictions on movements, this service provision will not be able to continue in the same way. We will return to our normal levels of service as soon as government guidance allows this to happen.

You may see some contractors carrying out essential repairs, cleaning and maintenance – please ensure that you maintain social distancing as per government advice. Please also remember that the social distancing advice applies to neighbours and anyone else coming to your home to carry out essential activities. Please observe the government’s advice on social distancing

While our estate services are restricted, it’s especially important that residents dispose of all household rubbish and bulk refuse properly. Please keep hallways and other communal areas clear. This will help to minimise health and safety risks.

Social Gatherings

Thank you to everyone who is being really careful to observe the government’s social distancing rules to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. We appreciate that it’s especially hard for people who live in flats but it’s vitally important that social distancing is observed in all communal areas. Unfortunately, we are aware of a very small minority of people who are ignoring  social distancing rules and holding social gatherings in communal hallways.

We are still monitoring communal areas. Where we identify that people are gathering (for example we have photos of tables and chairs set up in communal hallways) we are dealing with people directly but we wanted to make everyone aware that this is not acceptable, it risks everybody’s health, and creates a health and safety risk which is a clear breach of tenancy conditions. We will take action against those who are disregarding health and safety and the government’s advice. We’ll also get the police to intervene if necessary.

Bulk Rubbish

While our estate services are restricted, it’s especially important that residents dispose of all household rubbish refuse properly.

We know it may not be possible to get rid of all your bulk refuse while the household waste recycling centres are closed. In these instances, please store these items within the boundary of your property until the centres reopen. We appreciate this is frustrating but please refrain from using the bin stores for bulky waste or dumping it illegally.

If you spot or catch someone fly tipping you should report it to your Local Authority.

Playgrounds closed to help reduce coronavirus spread

In line with the government guidance and for your safety, all our playgrounds are closed at the moment.

Please make sure your children don’t use them. We would also advise against using any outdoor gym equipment during this time.

This is for health and safety reasons:

  • Playgrounds could be an environment in which the coronavirus could remain on surfaces and spread
  • Social distancing isn’t easy to manage in play areas especially with young children
  • We are unable to carry out the usual health and safety inspections because of the restrictions on our estate services at present.

Where possible we’ve shut off playgrounds we own to discourage use, but we do have some where this isn’t possible and ask that you please don’t use them.

These measures are all designed to help slow the spread of the disease, protect the NHS and ultimately save lives.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation