Our Key Policies in Wales

Our Key Policies in Wales

Electrical Safety First works closely with the Welsh Government and Welsh Assembly Members to ensure that people across the country are kept safe in their homes from accidents, injuries and fires caused by electricity.

Our focus in Wales includes:

  • Reducing the numbers of fires in Welsh Homes caused by an electrical source of ignition.
  • Improving electrical safety in housing in Wales in all sectors – privately and socially rented homes and the owner occupied sector.
  • Raising awareness of the importance of Home Safety Visits in identifying electrical problems and making sure improvements are made through proper referral processes and adequate funding.
  • Campaigning to protect the most vulnerable home owners to ensure they have access resources to improve electrical safety in their homes.
  • Raising awareness with Welsh Consumers of the risks associated with buying electrical goods from online marketplaces.
  • Advising councils in Wales who sell second hand electrical goods to the public to ensure it is undertaken safely with adequate checks.
  • Improving access to public charging points in Wales for electric vehicles.

More information

Preventing Electrical Fires in Welsh Homes

Over the last 5 years in Wales, there have been 4,000[1] fires caused by an electrical source of ignition and 1,500[2] caused by white goods, such as tumble dryers, dishwashers and washing machines.

We want to see:

  • A commitment from the Welsh Government to undertake consumer campaigns in the Welsh media to raise awareness that electricity does cause fires in Welsh homes.
  • Improving the report of electrical misuse in Welsh homes, such as fires caused by the charging of electronic equipment.
  • A campaign to ensure people in Wales are aware of unsafe electrical goods sold online.

Tenant safety in Wales

We continue to campaign to ensure that people who live in the Privately Rented and Social Rented Sectors in Wales receive a five-yearly electrical safety checks. The Welsh Government has committed to introduce regulations through the Renting Homes (Wales) Act, but we wish to ensure that these regulations are brought into effect as soon as possible before the end of the current Assembly term in 2021.

We want to see:

  • Mandatory electrical safety checks introduced in Wales in both the private and social rented sectors respectively.

Electrical Safety for Vulnerable People

The number of people in Wales aged over 80 or more is expected to double by 2035 with an estimated 50,000 people aged 65+ living with dementia, which presents its own challenges when it comes to electrical safety.

Home Safety Visits undertaken by the Fire Services in Wales are a vital tool to help prevent electrical fires.

We want to see:

  • The Welsh Government consider schemes to fund electrical safety improvements and checks in vulnerable people’s homes in Wales.
  • Every household with a person over 80 receive a free electrical safety check.
  • Home Safety Visits that identify electrical problems referred  to Care & Repair agencies for people unable to afford improvements and funding in place to resolve any issues.

Online Sales of Electrical Goods and the Future use of electricity in Wales

In Wales, whilst the laws relating to relegating unsafe electrical goods are not devolved to the National Assembly for Wales, it is important to note that there are many issues with Welsh consumers buying unsafe electrical goods online. According to our research, almost one in four Welsh residents, 26%, admitted that they would knowingly buy something fake or substandard online if they saw it for a fraction of the price and one in 11 Welsh adults have first-hand experience of a shock or fire caused by an electrical product that was bought online.[3]

With the growing use of chargeable devices and an increase in the use of Electric Vehicles in Wales, we need to ensure that people have access to public charging points and the Welsh Government needs to invest and support local government in increasing the number of charging points in Wales, which has the lowest number across the United Kingdom.

 We want to see:

  • Improved consumer campaigns in Wales to raise awareness of potential risks associated with electrical goods being purchased online.
  • Additional resources given to Trading Standards in Wales to enforce action against sales of unsafe electrical goods in Wales.
  • Welsh Government support for a Bill in the UK Parliament in order to prevent the sales of unsafe, sub-standard and counterfeit electrical goods.
  • More charging points in public places in Wales for electric vehicles, especially in residential areas.

 

References:

[1] Electrical Safety First methodology and analysis.

[2] Ibid

[3] Electrical Safety First research 2019