According to Scottish Government statistics, almost 70% of accidental domestic fires in Scotland (more than 3,400 annually) are caused by electricity.
That’s why Electrical Safety First, a charity committed to reducing deaths and injuries caused by electricity, is taking its campaign for safer Scottish homes to the SNP conference, which takes place this weekend in Glasgow.
With increasing concerns about electrical safety in Scotland’s rapidly expanding PRS – almost two thirds failed the Scottish Housing Quality Standard in 2012 – Electrical Safety First successfully lobbied for the introduction of mandatory electrical safety checks for the sector. This has now been incorporated into the recent Scottish Housing Act and the Charity is working with the Government to raise awareness of these new regulations for landlords.
But the SNP Conference also offers an opportunity for the Charity to promote its own Scottish Manifesto, which includes calls for an extension of regular safety checks to all social housing and owner occupied flats - and enhanced electrical safety for Scotland’s ageing population. It also argues for statutory electrical safety checks in all care homes, residual current devices (which rapidly cut off the current to prevent an electric shock) in all rented homes and banning evictions for complaints about electrical faults or appliances.
“Around two thirds of all domestic fires in Scotland are caused by electricity, with electrical products the prime culprit”, explains Phil Buckle, Director General of Electrical Safety First. “So we want to see additional protection provided across the entire housing sector – especially for Scotland’s growing population of older people and those in care homes.
“And with most domestic fires linked to electrical products, we are also calling for additional product safety protection through the installation of RCDs. With many fake and counterfeit items containing faulty parts which can cause shock, or worse, they are a safety essential.
“So we are delighted to be able to attend the SNP Conference, which will allow us to get our messages across more directly to decision makers”.
Electrical Safety First’s Scottish Manifesto, calls for:
- Five yearly electrical safety checks for owner-occupied flats and all social housing - with a visual inspection when the tenancy changes hands.
- Enhanced electrical safety for Scotland’s ageing population through the option of a free, five yearly electrical safety check for all households with one person aged over 75
- Statutory electrical safety checks in all care homes
- The installation of residual current devices (RCD) – which rapidly cut the current to prevent an electric shock - in all privately rented homes.
- Banning evictions for electrical faults in installations or appliances.
- To view the full Manifesto, visit: http://www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/news-and-campaigns/policies-and-research/our-key-policies-in-scotland/
- The recent Scottish Housing Act included a requirement for landlords to ensure five-yearly electrical checks, by a registered electrician, of the wiring and any electrical appliances supplied in privately rented homes. The regulation will come into effect from 1st December this year.
For more information please contact:
Angela Murphy e: firstname.lastname@example.org t: 020 3463 5127
Wayne Mackay e: email@example.com t: 01582 539138