Electrical safety guidance launched for social housing

Guidance on how social housing providers should take care of the electrical installations they manage was launched with a reception at the Houses of Parliament on January 23, 2019.

The Electrical Safety Roundtable (ESR) brought together over 25 social housing providers and stakeholders to develop the Code of Practice for the Management of Electrotechnical Care in Social Housing, in response to complaints that there was no agreement in the sector on how to determine the electrical safety of stock and assets.

The publication aims to provide this by setting out how often the electrical installation in a domestic tenanted property should be inspected, who should carry out these inspections, and how social housing providers should arrange to gain access to properties.

Ryan Dempsey, chair of the ESR’s social housing sub-group, said, “I spent many years working in social housing, and found it very difficult to justify some of the decisions I was making to others because there was no standard to refer to. This Code of Practice will provide that justification.

He continued, “What makes this document particularly special is that it has been developed by experts in the management of domestic tenanted properties. Their first-hand experience has allowed us to directly address the most common concerns in the sector, which we have done in a way that will be easily understandable even for those without specialist electrical knowledge.”

The launch event took place in the historic Churchill Room at the House of Commons, and was sponsored by NAPIT. The morning gave MPs, Lords and industry stakeholders the opportunity to hear more about the document and quiz its authors on how electrical safety in social housing could be improved.

Mike Andrews, NAPIT group chief executive, added, “This document is a real step forward for the social housing sector. Striving for higher standards has always been a key part of NAPIT’s ethos, and while safety has improved dramatically in the past few decades, there is always more that can be done. If the recommendations in this Code of Practice are widely adopted, we are sure that the safety of social housing tenants across the country will be significantly improved.”

The ESR has also released a short summary document outlining key recommendations at a glance, alongside an infographic to educate tenants on the dangers of electricity. All of these documents can be downloaded for free from the social housing pages at www.electricalsafetyroundtable.co.uk.

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