Our Key Policies

Our Key Policies

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

Although fires in the home are reducing, the percentage of domestic fires caused by electricity is steadily increasing. In 2014-15 an electrical source was the cause of 65% of domestic fires.

We want to see:

  • A commitment to reduce the number of domestic electrical fires by at least 10% over the next five years.
  • Improved reporting of electrical house fires.
  • Support that will enable the fire services to do more to raise awareness and prevent house fires caused by electricity.

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.

The Private Rented Sector

Renting is fast becoming the norm in the United Kingdom, with the sector now home to more than 9 million people and 1.3 million families. However, standards in privately rented homes are worse than in any other tenure. We welcome the Government’s recent announcement on improving electrical safety standards in England by the introduction of mandatory 5-year electrical safety checks for rented homes. But there is more work to do to ensure this policy keeps people safe:

We want to see:

  • Mandatory electrical safety checks every five years for all homes in the private rented sector in England, regardless of when they were built.
  • Implementation of the new policy by Autumn 2020 and working with the sector to achieve this though an implementation group.
  • That the social rented sector does not fall behind in terms of electrical safety and for the introduction of mandatory electrical checks to be considered at the same time as privately rented homes.
  • That no property in England should be permitted to be rented without a certificate that shows a check has taken place following implementation of the policy around five-yearly checks.
  • Residual Current Devices (RCDs) fitted in all rented homes regardless of tenure.
  • The UK Government consider the best way in which to allow for enforcement of non-compliance of mandatory checks.

Electrical Safety for an Ageing Population

The number of people over 65 living in the Private Rented Sector is predicted to double by 2035. 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 checks to prevent electrical fires.

Product Safety and Counterfeit 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 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 substandard, dangerous work. We are working to prevent further deregulation of Part P, and to increase public awareness of this important consumer protection.

We want to see:

  • No further deregulation of Part P.
  • A clear commitment from the government to maintain Part P.
  • Enforcement of Part P regulations as a priority by local authorities.
  • Wider awareness of the dangers of undertaking electrical work in the home and the need to always consult a registered electrician.