The 96 new MPs who have just entered Parliament may have experienced a shock at the briefing they have just received from leading safety charity, Electrical Safety First.
The Charity, which is dedicated to reducing deaths, injuries and fires, caused by electricity has sent its manifesto to the ‘class of 2017’, to explain why electrical safety needs to be urgently addressed.
“The Government’s own fire statistics show that, while domestic fires in general are decreasing, the percentage of fires arising from electricity still accounts for over half of all fires in the home – that’s more than 20,000 each year”, explains Phil Buckle, Chief Executive of Electrical Safety First.
The Charity has successfully lobbied for regular electrical checks in the Private Rented Sector (PRS) and these have now become legal requirements in Scotland and Wales – with Northern Ireland soon to follow suit. Details of how such checks will be introduced in England’s PRS have yet to be announced - though the amendment was included in England’s Housing and Planning Act, which gained Royal Assent last May. The Charity now wants to extend this essential safety precaution to the social housing sector, as well as offering regular electrical checks to all households with one person aged over 75, regardless of where they live.
“While faulty cabling is, according to Government figures, the main cause of deaths by electricity, concerns around product safety – from exploding e-cigarettes to tumble-dryer fires and the dangers of counterfeit goods – is an issue that we have also been addressing for some time. And we continue to lobby for improved regulation around product recalls and counterfeit goods, particularly those sold online”, adds Phil.
Electrical Safety First contacted all candidates in the General Election to provide them with a copy of its Manifesto – and asked for feedback on its suggestions for improved electrical safety in the home.
“The positive feedback we received from candidates indicated that they would support our aims, including our call to retain the safety standards we currently receive from the EU – since a vacuum in this area could have a negative impact on the safety of consumers” continues Phil.
“We will continue to work with MPs throughout the UK to ensure that electrical safety is a priority, so that everyone, regardless of where they live, can live safely in their own home.”