Home Information Packs
The Electrical Safety Council, the new electrical safety champion, has launched a campaign urging the government to include electrical safety information in its new Home Information Pack.
From 1 June 2007, the law will require anyone selling their home to provide a Home Information Pack to potential homebuyers, detailing all key information about the home. This will include planning and building regulations consents, details of local searches and a home condition report including an energy efficiency assessment.
To date, the government has ignored calls to include checks on the safety of the electrics in homes, despite the fact that every year in the UK, over 30 people die and nearly 4000 are injured as a result of electric shock or fire caused by faulty or badly installed wiring. On top of this, faulty electrics cause about 2000 homes to catch fire each year.
The Electrical Safety Council is lobbying MPs and law makers to get them to understand the lack of public awareness of electrical hazards in the home, and to include in the Home Information Pack information on the condition of the electrics. Such information includes the electrical safety certificates and reports issued by all reputable electricians, and the Compliance Certificates now demanded by the Building Regulations.
The Electrical Safety Council cannot understand why the Department for Communities and Local Government has made the issue of Compliance Certificates for most electrical work a legal requirement under Part P of the Building Regulations, when the same Department is not requiring them to be included in the Home Information Pack.
Bruce Allen, chair of the Competent Persons Forum, added his support for the Electrical Safety Council's campaign: "Omitting Compliance Certificates from the home information pack would be a real missed opportunity, I fully support the Electrical Safety Council's campaign to encourage inclusion of relevant compliance certificates, some of which contain fundamental safety information as well as other information which would be very useful to purchasers. It seems illogical to exclude them from the pack".
Emma McCarthy, director of the Electrical Safety Council said: "It is unfortunate that the Home Information Pack does not include any requirement for such a fundamental issue as electrical safety. The Electrical Safety Council is determined to raise awareness among law makers of the importance of inspecting and testing a home's electrics and of having an appropriate certificate or report to support this."
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