The charity, which is dedicated to reducing deaths and accidents caused by electricity, has written to the ‘class of 2015’ to explain why electrical safety needs to be urgently addressed.
‘The government’s 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,’ explained Phil Buckle, director-general of Electrical Safety First.
‘We have been campaigning long and hard for better regulation of electrical safety in the private rented sector, where a third of properties fail to meet basic standards. And with most electrical fires arising from electrical products, we are also lobbying to improve product safety legislation around the recall of dangerous products. One recent survey we undertook showed that 47 per cent of our respondents had never seen a recall notice and research suggests that there are millions of recalled – and therefore potentially dangerous – electrical items still in people’s homes.’
Electrical Safety First has also highlighted the need for particular safety legislation to cover the increasing number of older people who wish to stay in their own homes. Its report, A Shock to the System: Electrical Safety in an Ageing Society, found that older adults are often disproportionately at risk from electrical hazards and around one million people aged over 75 currently live in non-decent homes.
‘In the Queen’s Speech, which outlines the new legislation the government is planning to enact, there were a number of proposed Bills that could be used to tackle some of the key issues we are campaigning on,’ added Phil Buckle. ‘We hope that by contacting the new intake of MPs now, we can get their support for the regulations we believe can save lives and protect properties.’