Building Safety Building Safety


It's important that you feel safe and secure in your home. On this page, you will find advice, information, and guidance on how to live safely in your home. By working together, we can make sure your home is safe and secure. When we contact you to arrange a safety check visit, it's really important you book this in with us. 

If you live in a block with communal areas and would like a copy of your block safety reports, please Link to the Communal Living Safety reports.  

Our commitments to you and you to us can be found by following this link to the Commitments page.



Damp is caused by excess moisture in your home. The most common types of damp are rising damp, penetrating damp, damp caused by a leak and damp caused by condensation.

It can make your home feel cold and uncomfortable and it can cause structural damage if it's not dealt with.


Mould is a type of fungi caused by excess moisture in your home. It looks like a collection of little black spots and can often be found on windows or in the corners and edges of rooms.

Mould can grow in any home, so it's important to let us know if you spot mould in your home so we can help you.


Condensation occurs when moisture in the air meets a cold surface like a window or wall. You may notice it when you are cooking or having a shower.

If surfaces are left wet, a build-up of condensation can occur which can lead to mould forming

Why is there damp and mould in my home?

Mould is usually caused by damp conditions like condensation that has been left on a surface for too long. Most homes have some condensation, like the droplets you see on windows in the morning or after a shower.

Some mould can be caused by damp from a leak, bad insulation or other factors, so look out for any wet or damp patches on your walls or floors.

While it’s quite common to find mould in your home, it can be harmful to your health if it isn’t removed, which is why it’s really important you report it to us.

Some things you can do to help

  • To help reduce moisture, your home needs to be adequately heated. 18°C is the ideal temperature according to the World Health Organisation.
  • Ventilate your home when you can. Things like opening windows or turning on the extractor fan when cooking can really help.
  • If you’re drying your washing inside, make sure you open a window to give the extra moisture a place to escape.
  • If you’ve got a tumble dryer, it needs venting to the outside (unless it’s a condenser dryer). 
  • Wipe away any signs of condensation build-up on windows or surfaces in your home before mould can develop.

Use this link to download our leaflet on Damp and Mould


Gas Safety in your home 

As your landlord we have a legal duty to ensure that all gas appliances, fittings and flues owned by Arches Housing and provided for your use are safe. This includes things like central heating, boilers and gas fires.

To do this, we must carry out an annual gas safety check or gas service using registered Gas Safe engineers. We will notify you in writing when your gas safety check is due and arrange an appointment to complete the gas servicing.

Your gas safety responsibilities

You must allow us access to your home to complete your annual gas safety check. If you do not allow us access you will be in breach of your tenancy agreement and we may take legal action. 

If you employ anyone to carry out gas work in your home, you must ensure they are a registered Gas Safe engineer.

You must never attempt to do any gas related work or repairs yourself. Not only could you be breaking the law, but any work you carry out could be life threatening for you and your neighbours.

Gas safety tips

  • Make sure you know where your gas meter is located and how to turn off the gas supply in the event of an emergency.
  • Never cover an appliance such as a boiler or gas fire or block the air vents.
  • Never block or obstruct any fixed ventilation grilles or airbricks.
  • Never block or cover outside flues.
  • Never fit draught exclusion strips to doors of a room that contains a gas appliance.
  • Never use a gas appliance if you think it’s not working properly and never cover gas appliances.

Use this link to download our leaflet on Gas Safety


As your landlord, we have a legal duty to ensure that the wiring in your home is safe to use .

Every five years, we will carry out your electrical safety check. Our electricians will need access to your home to complete this .

If you employ anyone to carry out electrical work in your home, you should ensure they are a registered electrician with one of the government-approved schemes.

Electrical safety tips

  • Only buy electrical appliances and chargers from a reputable source and always check for a British or European safety mark
  • Don’t overload plug sockets or adaptors. An extension lead or adaptor will have a limit to how many amps it can take so be careful not to overload them – try to keep to one plug per socket.
  • Check your sockets regularly – if you see burn marks or they feel hot please contact us on 0114 228 8100 to arrange an inspection.
  • Check the electrical current rating of electrical adaptors before you plug appliances in and make sure that the total current used does not exceed the adaptor’s rating
  • Don’t put electric heaters near curtains or furniture and don’t dry clothes on them or cover the air vents on heaters
  • Don’t trail flexible cables under carpets or rugs – you won’t be able to see any damage
  • Regularly check for frayed or worn cables and wires. Check to see if the cable is fastened securely to the plug and check the socket for scorch marks. You should always carry out these checks before you use an appliance
  • Switch off appliances at the socket when not in use. Switch off appliances when you go to bed or when you go out unless they are designed to be left on (e.g. fridge freezer)
  • Keep electrical appliances clean and in good working order. Look out for fuses that blow, circuit-breakers that trip for no obvious reason and flickering lights
  • Don’t use electrical appliances near water and never touch electrical appliances with wet hands
  • Don’t use water on an electrical fire. Pull the plug out or switch the power off if it is safe to do so and call the fire brigade

For more information on electrical safety, visit the Electrical Safety First website: www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk 

Use this link to download our leaflet on Electrical safety


Fire Safety in the home

It’s vitally important you keep yourself safe and don’t do anything which could put yourself or other people at risk of injury from fire.

Here you’ll find a range of information to help protect you and your home, and what to do in the event of a fire in your home or building.

Arches Housing Responsibilities 

We will maintain communal areas of your building, ensuring we achieve the highest levels of safety.

We carry out regular safety audits on communal spaces, and monitor them as part of their general management.

Your responsibilities

  • As a tenant, you must live and behave in a way that does not increase the risk of fire or damage to your home or building.
  • Test smoke alarms in your property at least once a month.
  • Do not carry out any unauthorised DIY jobs or alterations to your home.
  • Make sure you remove any waste from your property in the correct manner.
  • Allow access for Arches staff to your home, as required under the Building Safety Act and Fire Safety Act.
  • Report anything you see that could pose a danger to fire or building structural safety. 
  • Keep communal areas free of any personal items or belongings.
  • Tell us if someone else moves in to your home.
  • Tell us if you or a member of your household become unable to evacuate your building unaided.

Use this link to download our leaflet on Fire Safety



Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral found in rock. It was used in building products in the UK particularly during the 1960s and 1970s because it is very strong and resistant to heat and chemicals.

The use of asbestos materials was stopped in 1999 but any building built before 2000 may contain asbestos.

If you have asbestos in your home, you do not need to be worried. If it is in good condition, it is not usually a problem.

Asbestos only becomes dangerous when it is damaged or disturbed. This is because it releases invisible fibres into the air. If breathed in these fibres can get stuck in the tissues of the chest or lungs. This can cause diseases including Asbestosis and Mesothelioma.

Ask before you DIY!

You must contact us first if you’re planning home improvements. We can check our records and see if your home is likely to contain asbestos and where it is located.

Use this link to download our leaflet on Asbestos

Asbestos guidance


What is Legionella ?

Legionnaires’ disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia and everyone is susceptible to infection. It is caused by the inhalation of small droplets of water from contaminated sources containing legionella bacteria.

It can be found in hot and cold water systems .

Keep cold water cold and hot water hot .

  • Ensure cold water temperature runs under 20 degrees centigrade and hot water above 50 degrees centigrade after 2 minutes running, if the water temperatures are outside of this guidance please contact us straight away and do not use the water supply.
  • Any water outlet that is not used at least weekly should be ran or flushed for 2 minutes on at least a weekly basis.
  • Flush through showers and taps for 10 minutes after a period of non-use (i.e. after they have not been used for one week).
  • Keep all shower-heads and taps clean and free from a build-up of lime scale, mould or algae growth.
  • Flush toilets with the lid down following a period of non-use.
  • Drain hose-pipes after use and keep out of sunlight 
  • Do not change any pre-set water temperatures on the water system in your home.

Use this link to download our leaflet on Water Safety in your home.

Block Safety Checks
Smell of gas
Testing your smoke alarms
Cardon Monoxide
Communal Living Safety Reports
Gas Fire
Gas Safety Checks
Electrical Safety Checks