Homes Safety

We would like you to be as comfortable and safe in your home as possible. It is your responsibility to keep your home safe for the benefit of your household and those around you; fire and smoke can spread through a home or block of flats incredibly quickly. Please read the guidelines below on how to prevent disasters and what to do in the event of an emergency.


In Emergencies

  • call 999 straight away and let your neighbours know if possible
  • do not try to tackle fires yourself, get out of the building
  • if you have to go where there is a lot of smoke, crawl with your head low
  • do not assume it’s a false alarm if your smoke alarm goes off; get everyone out of the home
  • check closed doors before you open them; if they are warm do not open them as there the fire is on the other side
  • do not stop to pick up valuables
  • If your escape route is blocked by fire, it may be safer to wait for the fire brigade. Close the door and block any gaps with clothes, towels or sheets. Call for help from the windows as well as phoning 999, if possible


In Advance

  • make sure you know at least one escape route in case of an emergency
  • keep estate routes clear and let Waltham Forest Housing know if others are obstructing them
  • make sure your household knows how to open doors and windows in an emergency


Fire Safety

You can contact your Fire and Rescue Service who may be able to come to your home to assess the risks and give you advice. They may also be able to fit a free smoke alarm for you. Please contact your nearest fire station or the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, 8 Albert Embankment, London SE1 7SD, 0207 5872000, or visit the London Fire Brigade website. For detailed advice please visit the Fire website.

There are advice leaflets at Cedar Wood House reception.

Please do not increase the risks by storing anything that might explode or be a fire hazard in your home (such as bottled gas and paraffin). Petrol-driven vehicles such as motorbikes must not be stored in indoor communal areas.



  • Keep matches and lighters away from the reach of children
  • Do not leave children on their own in the kitchen whilst you are cooking on the hob



  • never leave a lit cigarette unattended and make sure that they are put out
  • be particularly careful if you are tired, have been drinking or taking medication that makes you drowsy
  • use proper ashtrays and empty them regularly
  • do not throw hot ash into a waste bin



  • always make sure that they are put out
  • put them in proper candle holders; avoid tall ones that can easily be knocked over
  • do not put them on surfaces that could melt or catch fire (for example, tea lights can melt TV’s)
  • make sure there are no materials above or nearby that could catch fire, for example, curtains or shelves



  • make sure soft furniture (for example, sofas) meet fire safety regulations
  • never put a heater near clothes or furnishings


Smoke Alarms

It is your responsibility to fit smoke alarms. Smoke alarms are cheap, available in many high-street stores, supermarkets and D.I.Y. stores and are easy to fit and maintain.

  • Fit at least one smoke alarm, preferably one on each floor
  • make sure it meets British Standard (BS) 5446 Part 1 and preferably also carries the British Standard Kitemark or PCB 'Horseshoe' mark .
  • test your alarm every week by pressing the test button
  • choose smoke alarms with a standby battery and never remove a battery



  • Take extra care when cooking with hot oil
  • never fill a pan more than one third full with oil
  • dry food before putting it in hot oil (water will make the oil spit)
  • Use a damp cloth to put out burning oil (not water)


Electricity Safety

Please use the following guide to prevent electric shocks and electrical fires from breaking out.

  • To stay safe with electricity, you should:
  • switch as many electrical appliances as possible off at the wall when you are not using them
  • buy good quality appliances and plugs
  • make sure all plugs are wired correctly
  • fix a suitable fireguard in front of electric fires
  • get expert help for all repairs and rewiring
  • make sure all electric leads are not able to touch the hob/cooker
  • always use a proper adaptor if you are using a foreign appliance with a 2-prong plug


You should never:

  • use an appliance with a damaged lead
  • use cracked or chipped plugs or sockets
  • run an appliance from a light fitting
  • overload sockets with adaptors
  • handle plugs, switches or any appliance if you have wet hands
  • use electrical appliances in the bathroom (you can use a shaver if a special socket is fitted)
  • cover or block air grilles on fan or storage heaters
  • fit time switches or delay controls to electric fires
  • use an electric blanket and hot water bottle together


Gas Safety

  • If you think you smell gas:
  • do not use matches or a naked flame
  • do not turn light switches on or off
  • put out any cigarettes immediately
  • turn off the gas supply (usually found near the gas meter)
  • open doors and windows
  • call Transco (freephone) 0800 111 999


When Transco arrives, check their identity card. When they tell you what is wrong, they will ask you if they can go ahead and do the repair. Do not give them permission; ask them to contact us on 020 8496 4197 to explain the problem. We will make sure the repair is then carried out straight away. If you are a leaseholder and the problem is inside your flat, you should allow Transco to fix the repair.


Preventing Intruders in Tower Blocks

To keep all residents safe from intruders, you should:

  • Make sure the door is always closed behind you
  • Not leave the main door propped open
  • Not let anyone into the block who you don’t know


If you have lost your door-entry card or key, you can get a replacement from WF Direct; do not rely upon other households to let you into the block.

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