Electrical Safety First responds to the White Paper on Housing

07 February 2017

In response to the Department for Communities and Local Government’s White Paper on Housing,  Emma Drackford, of Electrical Safety First commented:

“We welcome the government’s commitment to consider mandatory electrical safety checks for rented properties. With a higher proportion of households entering the private rented sector, we strongly argue the need to provide regular electrical safety checks for all tenants throughout England. We know that electrical hazards pose a very real threat to tenants; for example, reports from London Fire Brigade show that electrical fires as a proportion are increasing in the capital.

“We have long called for mandatory electrical safety checks to be conducted within a maximum five year period. This position has been a shared one amongst the stakeholder community, and in line with what has been introduced in Scotland and those now being pursued in Wales. Without regular mandatory checks, we believe that fires caused by electricity in the private rented sector the issue will only get worse, not improve.”

Notes to Editors

  • Clause 122 and 123 of the Housing and Planning Act enables the Government to bring forward regulations to introduce electrical safety checks to the private rented sector: http://bit.ly/2cNkqI1
  • Five year mandatory electrical safety checks are already in place in Scotland and are due to be introduced in Wales. Currently, there is no legal requirement on landlords in England to ensure that electrical installations are regularly checked. Furthermore, no evidence is required to demonstrate to tenants that the electrics are safe at the commencement of or throughout a tenancy.
  • In 2010, electricity caused 52% of fires in the homes. In 2015 it was 55%. Whilst fires in the home are falling as a whole, as a proportion electrical fires are increasing: http://bit.ly/2dX6UTe