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Electrical Safety Policies


Our Key Policies for the UK Government

Electrical Safety First works closely with the UK Government, Members of Parliament, and with local government to improve public policy and legislation in relation to electrical safety in homes across the UK.

Preventing Electrical Fires

Although the overall number of domestic fires has slowly fallen, in 2017-18 the number of fires with an electrical source of ignition was 15,124, which is 54.9% of all accidental domestic fires.

We want to see:
  • A commitment to reduce the number of domestic electrical fires with targeted consumer campaigns supported by the Government.
  • A more up-to-date reporting system that allows for better capturing of information about fires caused by modern technology products.
  • Support for Fire and Rescue Services to undertake more proactive initiatives to raise awareness and prevent house fires caused by electricity.
  • A review of the causes of fires by electrical sources and the cost to public services.
  • An electrical fire safety grants to update the oldest properties to make them safe.
  • Improved reporting of electrical house fires.
  • The support that will enable the fire services to do more to raise awareness and prevent house fires caused by electricity.

The Private Rented Sector

In 2017-18, 19% of all homes were privately rented, equating to 4.5 million households. With the increase in the number of people living in the private rented sector (PRS), we welcome the UK Government’s announcement to introduce mandatory five-yearly electrical safety checks for tenants living in privately rented properties.

We want to see:
  • Mandatory electrical safety checks implemented into both the private and social rented sectors in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
  • Landlords and letting agents required to provide a valid Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) before properties are able to be rented.
  • Enforcement as a key priority to ensure people are safe in their rented homes, failure to provide an EICR should be an offence.
  • Properties that do not have an updated EICR or require urgent electrical work kept on a database by the local authority.

Electrical Safety for Vulnerable People

The UK’s population is ageing, and with that comes a number of issues which much be addressed to ensure the safety of older people living in their own homes. They can be particularly at risk, often living in old or poor-quality housing that contains faulty electrics or old appliances.  In 2017-18, over 40% of accidental fire fatalities in England were aged 65 or over, despite this age demographic only accounting for around 18% of the population.

We want to see:
  • The option of a free five-yearly electrical safety check for all owner-occupied households with one person aged over 75.
  • Proactive action targeting the over 65s with safety checks to prevent electrical fires.
  • Home safety visits undertaken by the Fire and Rescue Services to prioritise electrical safety with problems identified, signposted and addressed.
  • Financial support is given to Care & Repair Agencies to enable them to prioritise electrical work in properties with a person eligible for support.

Improving Consumer Safety Online

With the growth in online shopping, there are more opportunities for unsafe electrical products to enter our homes without proper regulation. Online platforms have become the place to advertise and trade in unsafe electrical products

We want to see:
  • Regulation of online sales of electrical goods to prevent recalled, counterfeit and sub-standard electrical products from being sold.
  • Regulation of private sales so that they are included in Consumer Rights legislation.
  • Online platforms taking proactive responsibility by policing their sites for illegal sales of electrical goods, i.e. preventing recalled products and unsafe products from being uploaded.
  • Properly funded enforcement at ports and airports to target and prevent unsafe electrical goods from being sold.

Failing Product Recalls of Electrical Goods

The response rate to an electrical product recall is generally very poor, at just 10 to 20 per cent. We support the Office for Product Safety and Standards in its work to improve product safety in the UK, but believe more needs to be done to protect the consumer.

We want to see:
  • No recalled electrical products allowed to be sold or re-sold via online retail platforms.
  • Government collect, review and publish product recall information, so that consumers have a one-place trusted authority to consult.
  • Mandatory registration of electrical goods at the point of sale.

Building Regulations

The building regulations which cover domestic electrical work in England and Wales are known as ‘Part P’ and are essential to protect the public from sub-standard, dangerous work. We are committed to promoting the use of registered electricians and working to prevent further deregulation of Part P.

We want to see:
  • No further deregulation of Part P.
  • A clear commitment from the government to strengthen Part P.
  • Local Authorities incentivised and accepting the enforcement of Part P regulations as a priority in protecting the public.
  • Wider awareness of the dangers of undertaking electrical work in the home and the need to always consult a registered electrician.