Why is electrical safety important?
Not all the people – being they the users and the consumers of electricity - understand the reasons for and the importance of electrical safety inspection.
We are all used to be using all appliances around us and the electrical installations in our homes in mostly safe conditions, mainly due to the strict regulations imposed to appliances’ manufacturers and consequently most of us take the electrical safety for granted.
When electrical safety checks fail or there is no electrical safety inspection done, in most cases the people involved are subject to electrical shocks. Shock hazards can vary widely – from a tingling sensation to a deadly jolt. Luckily, the latter is rather the exception nowadays.
In recent weeks there has been a lot of discussion about the tragedy at Grenfell Tower and about what it caused it. It is a common understanding at the time of writing this that the tragedy at Grenfell Tower started from an electrical fault from a fridge freezer.
This has brought the electrical safety back on everyone’s agenda – being those landlords, tenants or just home owners.
It only takes one tragedy like this to bring safety back on the agenda. Even though, to be brutally honest, safety should have never left the agenda of anyone in the first place. Safety concerns should be above everything, above any price concerns, above timing issues… safety should be everyone’s concern – from government to local council and individual landlords.
What is electrical safety inspection?
It is a fact of life that electrical installations, like everything else in life, deteriorate both with use and with age.
Consequently they should be checked regularly in order to provide users the comfort and the confidence that the electrical installation is safe to use.
In a way, electrical safety inspections are very similar with the gas safe inspections in properties, which are legally required to happen at least once every 12 months or when the gas installation has been affected or change in the property (such as changing the boiler).
Thus electrical safety inspections are usually known as “periodic inspection and testing”. Once a periodic inspection has been done, similarly to the gas safe record, an electrical condition report is issued.
What should I do as a landlord?
It is important to mention that, while the gas safe inspection is highly regulated and must take place at least once every year, the electrical inspections are not mandatory in rented properties.
Nevertheless, the law is clear: the landlord ensure that all electrical installations and appliances provided in the property are safe to use.
Failure to do so, should an incident happen as a result of electrical installation not being safe, could lead to prosecution and criminal conviction.
As a landlord, by law, you must make sure that:
- All electrical installations, such as sockets and light fittings, are safe when tenants move in and are maintained for the duration of the tenancy. This means that an electrical safety inspection should be done every time before a tenant moves in.
- All electrical appliances you provide, such as cookers and washing machines, are safe and have at minimum the CE marking.
- An inspection and test is carried out every five years if the property is a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO), or, due to recent legislation changes, the property is in Scotland, HMO or otherwise.
What do I risk as a landlord?
Once again, even though the law does not make mandatory to have an electrical safety check (unless the property is an HMO), there are clear outcomes should the electrical installations and appliances provided by you, the landlord, are found to be unsafe.
As a landlord, if the electrical installations and appliances provided by you are found unsafe, you could face:
- A £5,000 fine
- Six months imprisonment
- Potential criminal charges in the event of injury or death
- Invalidated property insurance
Real case study: why electrical inspection REALLY matters
Below photo was taken on a normal routine check and repair of an electrical shower on a property.
You can easily see the damage produced inside the electrical shower casing – and you can surely imagine the fire risk associated with using the shower. Moreover, being a wet area as well, everyone is well aware that water and electricity do not go well together.
In a nutshell, this was an accident waiting to happen.
Luckily no one was hurt and a proper repair was done and a full electrical inspection has been instructed.
This kind of situation exists in many houses let to people unaware of the risk – only because the landlords are, most of the times, themselves unaware of the risks their properties contain.
Do you want to risk your property?
Do you want to risk the lives of your tenants?
I am aware of the risk – what should I do now?
Force 10 Building Solutions can help you get all the safety certificates you need in place – give us a call and we can arrange a no obligation, free visit and free advice on what you could do to out your mind to rest. Visit
and see how we could help you.
Also, Force 10 Property Management covers the whole of Yorkshire letting, selling and managing properties – with portfolios from 1 to 50+ properties.
Are you a landlord and you are not sure your agent protects your interests properly? Give us a call for a free advice. We work with property investors as well, where we source properties and we provide them the advice to get the properties they need to maximise their return on investment.
Why not give us a call to get some free advice, if nothing else?
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