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Electrical Safety First: no-one should live on Inequality Street

Jun 2017 Latest News | Comments Off

Leading safety charity Electrical Safety First is calling on the Scottish Government to ensure that everyone – no matter where they live – is protected from electrical accidents. Electricity is the number one cause of accidental fires in Scottish homes but the law provides varying levels of protection for those living in different housing tenures.

Over the past couple of years, the Scottish Government has led the way in protecting private tenants by requiring regular electrical checks, by a registered electrician, in all PRS homes.

However, the legislation doesn’t cover those in social housing, or those living in their own homes – despite the fact that they comprise more than 80% of the total housing mix. To help address this, Electrical Safety First has just launched a major campaign called Inequality Street.

“There is a clear inconsistency between electrical safety standards in private and social housing – and even more so in relation to owner-occupied homes,” explained chief executive Phil Buckle.

“While owner-occupiers can choose to determine acceptable risk levels in their home, this can be an issue when they live in tenements and flats, where fire can easily spread and impact on other residents.

“We want a common electrical safety standard for all housing in Scotland. At the moment, we really do have ‘inequality streets’, where one resident might be much better protected from electrical risk than their neighbour next door.”

To help address this, Electrical Safety First is calling for five yearly electrical safety checks to be extended to all social housing and mandatory checks in owner-occupied properties – or, as a first step, in owner-occupied flats. The charity is also lobbying for RCDs to be fitted in all rented homes.

Go to https://consult.scotland.gov.uk/better-homes-division/energy-efficiency-programme for more information.