I was born in Kyiv and all my life lived here. I do not have a wonderful flat in a new block of flats and always lived in buildings of the Soviet period. A flat where I currently live is located on the seventh floor of standard designed building that was not properly maintained do ages. As probably plenty of readers I got stuck in lifts, spoke to neighbours regarding smoking or storing of furniture or partitions on a staircase. I was trying to keep safe not only the flat, but also the building where my family lives. I think this wish is understandable, but it's realization in our reality needs time, longing and inspiration. In this article I would like to highlight some moments that is better to know if your house was not built in accordance with worldwide best practices.

So where do you need to start from? I am offering you several tips from my plan of health and safety risk assessments in flats.

1. Find out what type of cabling do you have in the building and the flat itself. Check where the switchboard for the building and where is distribution board in the flat. Seek for an advice from an electrician regarding the load that could be sustained by the system. Identify and better take out appliances that could not work together.

2. Check all pipes of water supply, sewage and heating if there is possible leak. Have a look if there are any moisture or signs of it on walls and overlaps. In case if any signs of moisture is found the proper inspection should be taken over to identify if there is any fungus and how to get rid of it. Check condition of all valves and if they are working properly.

3. If you have gas in your place it is necessary to ensure that cutting off valve is located in an easy accessible place and is in the working condition. Check that all flammable materials and sources of fire are located far away from the gas system. Provide good ventilation to all gas pipes and appliances. It is very important to install gas detector, which will set on an alarm in case of gas leak.

4. Go to a fire station that is covering the building. Find out from fire fighters if they have equipment that will reach the flat level and if it is in the working state. Monitor if there is always place in the yard where the fire engine can park. Create an emergency plan for your family and you with different evacuation routs. Keep a torch close to the exit and check it regularly.

5. Ensure that all household chemical goods, medicines, tools and other dangerous items are kept in non-accessible place for children and pets. Provide cabinets with such items with instructions and proper safe locks.

I would recommend doing such checks every 6 months. They will help you to identify defects, new hazards and opportunities and new articles on our website will help you in that.

See you soon.