PRS Safety and the Scottish Housing Bill

09 April 2014

The Scottish Housing Bill

Electrical Safety First’s campaign for improved safety in Scotland’s Private Rented Sector (PRS) has come a step closer to success.

Commenting on the latest phase of the new Scottish Housing Bill – the Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee’s Stage 1 Report - Phil Buckle, Director General of Electrical Safety First, said:

“We are delighted the Committee recommends that all private rented sector (PRS) accommodation have mandatory, five yearly electrical checks by a registered electrician – a requirement we have campaigned long and hard for.

“Most accidental fires in Scotland are caused by electricity – almost 70% in 2012-2013.[1] We also know[2] that conditions and disrepair in the PRS are worse than in any other part of the Scottish housing sector and research indicates[3] that private tenants are more at risk from electrical fires. So we are extremely pleased the Committee recognises the need for this fundamental safety requirement.”

Committee Convener Maureen Watt MSP said:   “There is much in this Bill that the Committee supports and believes will help those who rent across the different sectors. However, we have also put forward recommendations to Parliament to further improve the bill, should Parliament agree with us that it should continue to progress. For example, our recommendations on mandatory five yearly electrical checks, mains smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms would we believe, greatly improve safety for all tenants in private rented housing.”


[1] Analysis by the Scottish Government of Fire Dataset:DCLG and Scotland for 2010-2011

[2] In 2011, 65% failed to meet the Scottish Housing Quality Standard. (Scottish House Condition Survey 2011).

[3]  Research conducted by Ipsos MORI 25th June - 2nd July 2010.

Editor’s Notes

  • Electrical Safety First is the new name of the Electrical Safety Council and is the only UK charity which focuses on electrical safety.