Feeling secure in your home, ensuring home safety for an ageing population and the need to deal with substandard and counterfeit electrical goods in a global market, are the areas Electrical Safety First would ask a Government to address in its first 100 days.
Safe as Houses
With housing rising to the top of the national agenda, we would like to see Government begin placing electrical safety on par with gas. Annually, around 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 expansion in the private rented sector (PRS) in particular – where a third of properties fail to meet basic standards – means concerns around electrical safety can only increase. So we are calling 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.
Ageing and Electrical Safety
Increased longevity intensifies health issues – particularly degenerative illnesses such as dementia, which impact on people’s ability to live safely at home or in a care facility. We want:
- Five yearly electrical checks in all care homes.
- Free electrical safety checks for all those over 75
Product safety – recalls and counterfeit goods
Most electric fires are caused by electrical products, yet recalls are often ineffective, with over a million faulty products remaining in UK homes. And the dramatic increase in counterfeit electrical items compounds the problem. We want:
- Manufacturers, retailers and distributors, to provide comprehensive data on those affected by a recalled item (through injury or damage to property).
- Detailed information on recalls to be made available on the websites of relevant government departments and enforcement agencies, such as Trading Standards.
- Enforcement agencies to prioritise action on fake electrical goods, as they present a greater risk than other counterfeit items.