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UK home owners put their homes in danger by not regularly checking their appliances

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Research from the Consumer Protection Alliance has found that over half of Brits (55%) do not unplug electric appliances that are not designed to be left on, whilst 52% do not know how to test their smoke alarm for functionality.

Equally, 62% of Brits admit to not checking the hob is turned off before going to bed, risking appliance damage, or worse.

Despite the importance, 44% of Brits admit they don’t carry out annual safety checks on the electrical appliances in the home. Of those, 42% don’t know how to check them, over a third (34%) are not aware of which appliances need checking and almost a quarter (23%) “can’t be bothered” to organise the check.

Aligned to this, 28% would wait until an appliance had completely broken down before being prompted to get it assessed, which could have turned into a major issue. More than a quarter (26%) would only organise a safety check when they heard of a friend’s misfortune, such as a boiler breaking down or a hob catching fire.

Cheryl Cox, Public Affairs Manager at NICEIC and member of the Consumer Protection Alliance, said: “Gas and electrical safety are important year-round, but especially during the winter months when an extra strain is placed on our appliances in the home. We tend to forget that our appliances such as the boiler, gas hob and hot water cylinder are used so frequently that they need extra maintenance. Everyone needs to be aware of the dangers and we believe that safety is paramount, and education crucial.”

The Consumer Protection Alliance is made up of the Dispute Resolution Ombudsman, Gas Safe Register, NICEIC and Which? Trusted Traders, with the aim of promoting consumer safety and protection in the UK. To combat these issues, the Consumer Protection Alliance has now launched a national consumer safety campaign warning homeowners and landlords about the dangers lurking in the home. Brits are advised to think safety first with these five top tips to ensuring your home is safe:

  1. Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors where appropriate and test them on a regular basis.
  2. Arrange for an annual safety check on the following gas appliances:
    1. Boiler
    2. Gas fires
    3. Gas cooking hob
    4. Hot water cylinder
  3. Carry out your own annual visual checks on plugs, sockets, cables, leads and light fittings and seek help from a registered electrician if you find any issues.
  4. Arrange for an inspection and test of electrical installations every five years, regardless of whether the property is owned or rented.
  5. When having a gas or electrical safety check carried out, always hire a registered, professional tradesperson such as those on the Gas Safe Register or those registered with NICEIC.

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