House Fire

Scottish social housing at greater risk of electrical fires, charity warns



There is a greater risk of electrical fires in Scottish social housing due to inequalities in electrical safety standards, according to the charity Electrical Safety First.

Although there are electrical safety requirements for private rented sector homes, legislation does not cover social housing nor privately owned property, which account for 80% of housing.

The charity claims that electricity is the number one cause of accidental fire in Scottish homes.

Phil Buckle, chief executive of Electrical Safety First, said: “There is a clear inconsistency between electrical safety standards in private and social housing – and even more so in relation to owner-occupied homes.

“While owner-occupiers can choose to determine acceptable risk levels in their home, this can be an issue when they live in tenements and flats, where fire can easily spread and impact on other residents.

“We want a common electrical safety standard for all housing in Scotland.

“At the moment, we really do have ‘inequality streets’, where one resident might be much better protected from electrical risk than their neighbour next door.”

Electrical Safety First has launched a major campaign called Inequality Street.

The charity is calling for electrical safety checks to be made on all social housing every five years and mandatory checks on owner-occupied properties.

The charity is also lobbying for residual-current devices to be fitted in all rented homes.


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