Our Key Policies in Scotland

Our Key Policies in Scotland

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 Electrical Fires in Scottish Homes

In 2015-16, electricity caused more than 3,800 house fires in Scotland with vulnerable groups, such as older people, more susceptible to injury from electrical fires. Over two thirds of accidental house fires are caused by electrical products, including counterfeit goods and faulty items that have been recalled.

We want to see:

  • A commitment to reduce the number of accidental electrical house fires by 10% over the next five years.
  • Improved reporting of accidental dwelling fires to better inform safety strategies.
  • Support for the SFRS to undertake more proactive activities to raise awareness and prevent house fires caused by electricity.

A Common Safety Standard for Housing

Steps have been taken to ensure electrical safety in the  Private Rented Sector (PRS) is enhanced with the introduction of mandatory five-yearly safety inspections. There is no such requirement in the owner-occupied and social rented sectors, which account for 80% of Scotland's total housing stock.

We want to see:

  • Mandatory electrical safety checks in owner-occupied properties or, as a first step, in owner-occupied flats.
  • A Residual Current Device (RCD) fitted in all rented homes.

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.

Electrical Safety for an Ageing Population

Scotland's population is ageing, posing a number of unique challenges. Older people can be particularly at risk because they often live in old or poor-quality housing that contains faulty electrics or old appliances.

We want to see:

  • Proactive action targeting the over 65s with safety prevention measures to prevent electrical fires.

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.

Building Standards and Electrical Safety

Under the Building Standards system in Scotland, some electrical work requires permission in the form of a building warrant. We recommend that you always use an electrician registered with one of the government-approved schemes to do any electrical installation work in the home.

We want to see:

  • Wider awareness of the dangers of undertaking electrical work in the home and the need to always consult a registered electrician.

Download our Scottish Manifesto by clicking on the link on the right of this page.