Renters are at risk of electrocution

Wednesday, 29 February 2012 10:12 AM

A whopping 20 per cent of people electrocuted in the home are tenants according to research from the Electrical Safety Council (ESC).

In the UK one person dies every week from electrical accidents and almost 1,000 are injured.

Due to a lack of understanding between tenants and landlords about where the responsibility for electrical safety lays many of these injuries happen to unsuspecting renters.

“Part of the confusion may arise from the fact that landlords are legally responsible for an annual gas safety check but it is not a legal requirement for electrical safety,” head of communications at the ESC Anneke Rousseau said.

“It is important that all landlords understand their obligations and ensure the safety of their tenants.”

Research found three quarters of tenants never discuss electrical safety with their landlord yet more than 21 per cent have reported an electrical safety concern in their home.

By law it is the landlord’s responsibility to ensure the continued safety of all electrical wiring and installations.

Tenants are only responsible for the electrical goods they bring into the home.

If a landlord is negligent and does not carry out appropriate electrical checks they face fines of up to £5,000 or imprisonment.

The ESC has released a free Smartphone app which helps you carry out a visual safety check of electrical items in the home.

The council is encouraging landlords to download the app but also tenants so they can confidentially approach their landlord with any safety discrepancies.

“We are encouraging landlords and tenants to start talking more openly with each other about this vital safety issue,” she said.

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