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Safe as houses?

By April 29, 2014News

They say that an Englishman’s home is his castle. This should be as true for the occupant of a social housing property as it is for the owner of – well – a castle. Actually, they are all equal – equally at risk – if they aren’t properly maintained with an eye to the hidden dangers…

Everyone should feel safe in their own home. Going one further, everyone should actually be safe, in a secure and healthy environment. But not all threats come from outside. Indoor air quality is increasingly recognised as a vital component of healthy living. We have become a highly sedentary nation, with a high dependence on technology for entertainment as well as commerce and industry. As a result we spend a lot of time indoors. Not only do our homes need to be well ventilated, but any ventilation systems need to be well maintained and cleaned, particularly in multiple occupancy dwellings which are served by a central ventilation system.

A communal ventilation system can also pose a risk in the event of fire as it acts as a chimney carrying smoke and flames further through the building. In some multiple occupancy settings you don’t even need a communal ventilation system to be in danger. A ground floor food retail outlet with accommodation above can be a recipe for disaster if a fire takes hold in the grease deposits of poorly cleaned kitchen extract ductwork. Heat rises, and so can fire, spreading to living accommodation on upper floors in seconds.

Just as important is clean water. We tend to think of that, quite complacently, as a third world problem, but it’s essential in the UK too. We’ve seen too many outbreaks of legionella in the past few years – especially as one outbreak is too many for a disease that can kill. Some incidents have occurred in workplaces , but in communal water systems in residential settings, there’s still a danger of a legionella outbreak – and that can prove fatal.

Providing a healthy indoor environment takes skill and a strict adherence to the legal requirements for these aspects of property management. Swiftclean specialises in helping social landlords to provide safe and healthy homes for tenants. Click here for more information or call us on 0800 243 471.