Preventing legionnaires’ disease at home

UK Home Improvement

Preventing Legionnaires’ Disease At Home

For those who are unaware, Legionnaires’ disease is a severe form of atypical pneumonia caused by the bacterium Legionella pneumophila. The most common way that it’s transmitted is through the inhalation of contaminated water droplets, typically from sources like taps, hots tubs, showers, and fountains. 

As a result, landlords and other businesses or organisations in the housing sectors need to play a crucial role in preventing the spread of Legionnaires’ disease. Let’s take a look at what that role consists of.

General responsibilities

First of all, landlords and housing organisations have both a legal and moral responsibility to provide a safe environment for their tenants. Implementing proper measures to prevent Legionnaires’ disease is not only a legal requirement – it’s also essential for protecting public health and maintaining a positive reputation for your brand. What do those measures look like?

Water system maintenance

One of the key ways in which homeowners, landlords and housing organisations can play a role in preventing Legionnaires’ disease is through the effective maintenance of water management systems. This includes regularly monitoring the components of those water systems, including water tanks, decorative water features and waste pipes to ensure that they don’t become hotspots for Legionella bacteria growth. 

Whilst homeowners should be aware, landlords and housing organisations should follow the relevant guidelines, such as those provided by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the World Health Organisation (WHO), and local health authorities, to ensure that their water management plans remain up to date with the current national and international standards.

Testing and risk assessments

Regularly carrying out Legionella risk assessments is also crucial in preventing Legionnaires’ disease. Landlords and housing organisations will normally need to hire water hygiene specialists to conduct routine water testing, to identify any potential sources of contamination before they can cause an issue. 

Remedial measures could involve disinfecting water systems, changing water temperatures in the pipes or storage systems, or implementing other specific control measures that are designed to minimise the risk of Legionella growth.

Education & Training

Another critical component of Legionnaires’ prevention is education about the subject and if a business – employee training. Homeowner should familiarise themselves with Legionnaires whilst Landlords and housing organisations should provide awareness training to their employees on Legionnaires’ disease, its causes, and preventive measures that they can take. 

Employees, and even homeowners, should be educated on the importance of proper water management, including how to maintain clean water systems, understanding and monitoring for signs of water contamination, and the need to report or correct any concerns right away.

Reporting cases

Finally, businesses, landlords and housing organisations need to make sure that they establish clear protocols for responding to suspected cases of Legionnaires’ disease. This includes ensuring that local health authorities are notified right away, conducting thorough investigations to identify potential sources of infection, and taking appropriate measures to mitigate the risk of further spread. 

These are just a few of the main ways in which landlords and housing organisations can carry out their role in the prevention of Legionnaires’ disease. From careful water management and regular testing, to employee training or educating yourself and clear reporting protocols, there are a wide range of concrete measures that can be taken to mitigate the risk of this serious disease from spreading. 

This shouldn’t just be considered a legal requirement – landlords and housing organisations in particular also have a moral duty to protect those under their care, and should look to fulfil that duty as fully as possible.


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