Great Britain has a relatively good record of electrical safety, but the most recent figures available show that in a typical year:
- Around 20 people will die as a result of electrocution and/or fatal electric burns suffered at home.
- There will be approximately 20,000 accidental electrical fires in homes, resulting in around 50 deaths and 3500 injuries.
Most accidents or deaths involving electricity in a household arise through faults in, or misuse of, domestic appliances or the electrical installation. Another major cause is objects being placed too close to a heat source, eg an electric heater or lamp.
The safety of electrical appliances relies, to some extent, on the condition of the home’s fixed wiring, but misuse of electrical appliances will increase the risk of electrical shock and fire. To keep risks to a minimum, landlords and their tenants must ensure that portable electrical equipment is safely used, stored and regularly checked.
Do you provide electrical appliance for your tenants?
If you provide electrical appliances (eg kettle, microwave, washing machine) for your tenant(s), you should ensure the item carries, at least, a CE mark (a manufacturer’s claim that it meets the minimum requirements of EU legislation). However, we recommend purchasing and providing appliances carrying the British Standard Kitemark, or BEAB Approved mark, as these can provide greater assurance of electrical safety.
Any appliance supplied should be suitable for its location and intended use. Providing copies of the manufacturer’s instructions would be useful for tenants to refer to.
An electrical installation comprises all of the fixed electrical equipment that is supplied through the electricity meter. This includes the cables usually hidden in walls and ceilings, sockets, switches, light fittings and the fusebox.
A good electrical installation should ensure that:
- There are sufficient sockets for electrical appliances (thereby minimising the use of multiway sockets and trailing leads).
- Covers are in place to prevent contact with ‘live’ parts (any broken/damaged switches should be replaced as soon as possible).
- A RCD (Residual Current Device) is installed to provide additional protection against electric shock.
- Satisfactory earthing arrangements are in place to ensure that a fuse or circuit breaker can quickly clear any electrical fault before it causes a shock or fire.
- Satisfactory protective bonding is in place (where required – to minimise any electric shock risk until the fault is cleared).
- Sufficient circuits are provided to avoid danger and minimise inconvenience in the event of a fault.
- Cables are correctly selected and installed in relation to the fuse or circuit-breaker protecting the circuit.
Use the app!
Electrical Safety First has produced an App to assist those carrying out visual safety checks on a domestic property, which can be downloaded from:
It is strongly recommended that only registered electricians are hired to undertake any electrical installation work.
Why choose Safety Checked?
Safety Checked Ltd are experienced at carrying out servicing and checks of fire alarms, smoke detectors and electrical systems for social housing, student lettings and private landlords throughout County Durham and the North East. Our Electrical Installation Condition Reports (EICR) are a cost-effective way to ensure that you are meeting your legal and mandatory obligations for electrical safety.
As well as carrying out your electrical inspection and testing, Safety Checked can provide Fire Alarm Servicing and Maintenance, Portable Appliance Testing (PAT), emergency lighting checks, and electrical repairs and installation.