Private Sector Safety – New Regulations Miss Electrical Danger

11 March 2015

Electrical Safety First has warmly welcomed the Government’s plan to introduce measures requiring landlords to improve safety in the private rented sector (PRS). But the Charity has noted its disappointment that proposals do not include the regular electrical safety checks it has lobbied for – despite the fact electricity causes almost half of all fires in the home.

Housing Minister, Brandon Lewis, has just announced that private sector landlords will be required to install smoke alarms on each storey of their property, carbon monoxide alarms in the rooms considered most at risk from high levels of carbon monoxide and to check the alarms are in working order at the start of any new tenancy. The Government estimate these new requirements will result in up to 36 fewer deaths and 1,529 fewer injuries over a 10 year period.

“While we applaud any improvement in safety for the private rented sector, we are keenly disappointed that electrical safety has not been included in the new regulations”, comments Phil Buckle, Director General of the Electrical Safety Council.

“The omission is particularly odd, given that almost half of all domestic fires in Great Britain arise through electricity. It kills one person a week and seriously injures 350,000 each year. And the huge expansion in the PRS – where a third of properties fail to meet basic standards – means concerns around electrical safety can only increase.”

ENDS

Editor’s Notes

Electrical Safety First has called for -

  • Mandatory, five yearly checks of the electrical installation in all PRS homes, along with any electrical appliances supplied with it.
  • Residual current devices or RCDs – which help prevent electric shock - to be installed in all PRS homes.

For more information please contact:

Angela Murphy t: 020 3463 5127 e: angela.murphy@electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk

Ben Stokes t: 020 3463 5129 e: ben.stokes@electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk