Bridging the Safety Inequality Gap

04 May 2022

Last week, the Building Safety Bill received Royal Assent. We were particularly delighted the legislation takes us a step closer to addressing the ‘safety gap’ around electrical safety in high rises – by including a requirement for the Government to complete a cost-benefit analysis for introducing regular electrical installations checks in all residential tower blocks in England.

Currently, only private landlords are required to undertake five yearly electrical safety checks, despite most high rises being composed of mixed tenures. England, unlike Scotland (with Wales set to follow suit), has not yet extended this requirement to social housing and there is no such legislation covering homeowners across the UK.

We’ve called for a uniform approach to electrical safety in tower blocks,  working closely with Lord Foster of Bath to help address this regulatory gap, which leaves families and buildings at risk.  We want to see mandated, five yearly, electrical safety checks in both social housing and leaseholds in mixed tenure high rises, to protect all residents and ensure consistency and effectiveness. Not only would this protect hundreds of thousands of people, but it will also help provide the peace of mind that everyone wants to feel in their own home.

We were also pleased to see the Private Tenancies Bill receive Royal Assent in Northern Ireland last week.  The Act gives the Executive powers to introduce periodic electrical safety checks in all privately rented homes, which we have long campaigned for.

Two important milestones.  But we won’t stop campaigning until everyone – regardless of tenure – has equal protection from electrical risk. 

To discuss our policy work across the UK, please get in touch:

Wayne Mackay

Head of Policy & Public Affairs, Electrical Safety First


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