A group of industry experts have got together to press for changes in the law to help save lives.
Led by us here at Seaward and backed by MP Grahame Morris the national campaign urges policy makers to create legislation on appliance testing in rental properties to help avoid tragedies caused by faulty appliances.
Now Mr Morris has sponsored an Early Day Motion calling for the topic to be debated in Parliament and support for the national campaign is growing.
We are urging policy makers to change the law to require landlords in England to carry out regular electrical testing on the appliances in their rental properties, in the same way as it is mandatory in Scotland and Wales.
We are also encouraging insurers to take portable appliance testing (PAT) into account when evaluating tenanted premises.
Quick and simple measures such as PAT testing can highlight problems the tenant or landlord may not be aware of, such as simple wear and tear, recalled items or counterfeit appliances that don’t meet UK safety standards.
Government statistics for 2016-17 show that faulty electrical appliances were the second largest cause of accidental house fires in the UK.
Scotland adopted new mandatory electrical testing standards for rented properties in 2015. Despite this there currently no legal requirements for landlords to carry out regular PAT tests in the rest of the UK.
Mr Morris, MP for Easington in County Durham, whose constituency includes Peterlee where we are based, said: “I fully support Seaward’s important fire safety campaign. Electrical faults are one of the leading causes of domestic fires, and are cited as a possible cause of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.
“Regular PAT testing can ensure that electrical faults are identified, helping to prevent potentially lethal fires. It’s a quick, easy and affordable process that can save lives and protect property.”
Andrew Upton, managing director of Seaward, said: “We’ve heard a lot from businesses and politicians in the past about ‘red tape’ and how PAT testing could be a detriment to growth.
“As industry experts and advocates for electrical safety we believe there should be a safety first policy – and we are sure many people will agree with us. The fact of the matter is that if done correctly, PAT testing will help to save lives.
“It’s important that we use this opportunity to think carefully about safety standards and make sure landlords and local authorities carry out very basic tests and we are very grateful to our MP Grahame Morris for helping us highlight this important issue.”
The campaign is also backed by PAT testing company Hawkesworth Appliance Testing. Michael Kiddle UK Operations Director, said: “Hawkesworth conducts millions of PAT Tests, identifying and failing thousands of faulty appliances every week.
“We have seen substantial growth of fake/counterfeit items which without doubt have made their way into rented homes putting lives at risk.
“It is vital those items along with standard deteriorating appliances are checked, identified and taken out of service.
“Having been a firefighter myself for 13 years I’ve seen first-hand the damage and devastation faulty appliances can cause.
Hawkesworth fully supports this campaign to introduce safety standards that could help prevent disasters like the Grenfell Tower tragedy."