ESC response to the Scottish Housing Bill

02 December 2013

Comment on the Scottish Housing Bill

Commenting on the new Scottish Housing Bill, Phil Buckle, Director General of the Electrical Safety Council (ESC), said:

“The Scottish Government’s aim of improving conditions in the Private Rented Sector (PRS) is one we strongly support. We also hope the code of practice for letting agents, which will be introduced at a later date, will help enhance safety in the home.

“However, we trust the ESC’s proposal to reinforce electrical safety requirements, in order to reduce risks to tenants, will be considered carefully as the Bill progresses through Parliament. Research suggests that PRS tenants are more at risk of fire than those in other housing sectors1 – and with the majority of domestic fires in Scotland caused by electricity, our proposal is particularly important for improving standards in the PRS.”

Editor’s notes

Out of 4,994 domestic fires in Scotland during 2012, 3,443 arose through electricity.

In the context of the Bill the ESC has called for:

Mandatory, five yearly checks, by a registered electrician, of both the electrical installation in a rented property and any electrical appliances supplied with it.

Mandatory provision of RCD protection in all properties.

RCDs (or Residual Current Devices) are lifesavers - they help prevent severe and fatal electric shock, and some fires, and are usually fitted in the consumer unit (fusebox) of a home.

For more information please contact Ben Stokes on 020 3463 5129 or at