Our Key Policies in Northern Ireland

Our Key Policies in Northern Ireland

Electrical Safety First believes that nobody, regardless of age, income or where they live, should be put at risk of electrical faults in their home. To this end, we are campaigning to improve electrical safety in a number of key areas:

Preventing Fires in Northern Irish Homes

During 2014-15, 600 house fires in Northern Ireland were of electrical origin, over two thirds of accidental dwelling fires. The Private Rented Sector (PRS) is expanding at an unprecedented rate and now makes up approximately 20% of all housing. Increasing numbers of families and vulnerable people are now renting privately.

We want to see:

  • Better co-operation between Northern Irish MPs and the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on reserved and expected housing issues.
  • A commitment to improving electrical safety in the home, both from Westminster and Stormont.
  • Five-yearly electrical safety checks in the PRS and a visual inspection on change of tenancy. This fundamental safety requirement should be extended to all social rented housing.
  • Mandatory checks in owner-occupied properties or, as a first step, in owner-occupied flats.
  • Evictions following complaints about electrical faults or appliances outlawed.
  • Residual Current Devices (RCDs) fitted in all rented homes.
  • A national framework for public agencies working with vulnerable clients, so that referrals regarding electrical safety concerns can be dealt with effectively.
  • Wider awareness of the dangers of undertaking electrical work in the home and the need to always consult a registered electrician.

Exit from the European Union

Much of the current legislation in place in the UK in relation to product safety and consumer protection is dependent upon minimum standards set out in EU legislation.

We want to see:

  • No deregulation of product safety standards implemented by EU laws once the UK has left the European Union.
  • That the protections afforded to consumers through our membership of the EU are maintained and strengthened upon our exit.
  • Continued close working with European partners to ensure that products entering the UK market are safe and meet the minimum standards set.

Product Safety and Counterfeit Electrical Goods

The product recall system is failing to protect consumers from potentially dangerous faulty goods. The average recall success rate of 10-20% means there are potentially millions of dangerous items in UK homes.

There has also been a huge increase in counterfeit and substandard electrical goods coming into the country. Fake goods often contain faulty parts that can cause products to overheat and catch fire.

We want to see:

  • Better traceability of electrical products from point-of-sale to consumer.
  • Government collecting, reviewing and publishing product recall information, so that consumers have a trusted authority to consult.
  • Better co-ordination of Trading Standards to combat increasing numbers of counterfeit goods being imported.
  • Enforcement agencies prioritise action on fake electrical goods.

Download our Manifesto for Northern Ireland by clicking on the link on the right of this page.