NAPIT: ‘Government Ignores Private Sector Electrical Safety’

Electrical Safety

The government has ignored 75% of respondents consulted on electrical safety checks, according to the NAPIT Trade Association, which has renewed its call for the introduction of mandatory electrical safety checks in the private rented sector, following a ‘disappointing’ response by Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

NAPIT argues that DCLG’s decision was taken despite the fact that around 16 percent of tenants are estimated to be living with electrical hazards in the home, despite the fact that electrical distribution is the source of ignition for 12% of all accidental dwelling fires reported in 2013/14, and despite numerous industry voices in favour of mandatory electrical safety checks.

NAPIT chairman Frank Bertie said: “DCLG has taken positive action on Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms, making them mandatory for all properties in this sector, but we fundamentally disagree with its decision not to introduce mandatory electrical safety checks.

“While landlords for Homes of Multiple Occupation are required to ensure that every fixed electrical installation is inspected and tested at intervals not exceeding five years by a person qualified to undertake such inspection and testing, no equivalent requirement exists in the private rented sector.

“Out of 157 responses on whether landlords should be legally required to have electrical installations checked regularly, 119 thought they should, with the majority of the opinion that this should happen every five years. In their response, the Government has ignored this overwhelming majority and disregarded the views over 75 per cent of respondents.”

Bertie is urging the government to be tough on fire prevention as well as fire detection to properly ensure the safety of tenants in this sector. “We are very disappointed with their response but will continue to work for positive change in this sector,” he added.

Over 90 per cent of NAPIT Trade Association respondents agree that electrical safety checks in the private rented sector every five years or more frequently should be mandatory, according to a recent survey. This view has also been echoed by other influential groups in the electrical industry, including the charity Electrical Safety First and the prominent industry forum, The Electrical Safety Roundtable.

NAPIT continues to campaign to make it mandatory for landlords to have an Electrical Installation Condition Report carried out by a competent, registered electrician every five years or at each change of tenancy, supported by a regular visual electrical checklist.