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ECA calls for mandatory electrical checks in social housing

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The Electrical Contractors Association has called on the UK Government to implement mandatory electrical checks on social housing every five years. 

The UK Government recently introduced new rules for rented accommodation which means that landlords must ensure that electrical installations are inspected and tested by a qualified person before a tenancy begins and every five years thereafter. However, these new rules only applied to private tenancies, with social housing providers made exempt.

That’s why the ECA is now calling on the Government to give social housing tenants the same peace of mind that their electrical installations are safe. It notes that regular electrical safety checks should be carried out by competent businesses at least every five years, while higher risk builds, such as high rise tower blocks, should get even more stringent testing, alongside regular portable appliance testing. 

The ECA’s proposals are part of the ECA’s response to a consultation on the new draft Building Safety Bill. The bill was introduced to prevent a disaster like the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017 from happening again. That fire is thought to have been caused by a faulty Hotpoint fridge-freezer, which may have been spotted during regular testing. However, currently the UK Government’s proposals don’t include such provisions. 

Mike Smith, ECA director of technical, commented, “ECA and the Fire & Security Association welcome the Draft Building Safety Bill, including new regulatory powers for the Health and Safety Executive and greater accountability for ensuring building safety.

“Regular electrical safety checks are essential for ensuring that residential buildings are safe for tenants and homeowners. This includes preventing the risk of electrical fires from any source.

“Any new regulatory regime, including the need for electrical installation and portable appliance checks, also needs to be backed by effective enforcement.”

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