Electrical safety call in Scotland’s social housing sector

With 70% of fires in Scottish homes caused by electricity, safety charity, Electrical Safety First (ESF), has called for mandatory electrical checks in the country’s social housing and owner occupied flats.

ESF is also lobbying for enhanced electrical safety for Scotland’s ageing population, whether individuals remain in their own residence or enter a care home.

“Having successfully argued for improved electrical safety in the private rented sector, we now want to extend that protection to social housing tenants and owner-occupiers in flats – where electrical fires could spread to other properties”, explains Phil Buckle, Director General of Electrical Safety First. “But we are particularly concerned with older people, who are much more vulnerable to injury from electrical fires than other age groups.

“The vast majority (72%) of older people tend to be owner-occupiers, often living in homes built before 1982 that can lack important electrical safety features. Critically, Scotland’s quality standards for social housing and the private rented sector don’t apply to people who live in, and own, their home. And there are no specific requirements for such checks in care homes, which are a particular concern.”

While the personal cost of electrical accidents can’t be calculated, a recent report by ESF found that injuries caused by an electrical fault costs Scottish tax-payers around £8.9M each year. More details available here

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