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MILLIONS OF BRITS COULD BE FACING A DIY DEATH TRAP

Electrical Safety Council charity issues stark warning as the study reveals approximately 6.2 million Brits could be living in an illegally wired home that may be putting lives at risk.

What devoted DIYers are failing to realise is that they could face hefty fines or even prosecution by doing what they believe is simple electrical work around their home.

A new survey by charity the Electrical Safety Council shows that millions of people are attempting electrical jobs such as rewiring and installing complicated electrical equipment in an attempt to save cash.  What they don’t know is that by law, electrical work must be carried out by a registered electrician, or at least approved by a local building control office.

Experts are worried that this lack of understanding could result in serious injury or death, with figures from the Electrical Safety Council showing that electricity kills at least one person in their home each week, with almost 1,000 seriously injured every day1.  By placing more importance on cost, rather than credentials, many homeowners could be putting their lives at risk in an attempt to save money.

The survey reveals that one in seven consumers have rewired areas of their home, one in five have carried out a fuse box change, one in six have attempted an electrical installation in the garden, while one in eight have or would attempt to install underfloor areas of their home.

As a result, more than a third of registered electricians are called to fix botched jobs at least once a month and almost one in five contractors have seen dodgy electrical work, which has caused injury to the homeowner.

Shockingly, a quarter of Brits did not know that if you are conducting electrical work in the bathroom, kitchen, or garden you need to get the work done by a registered electrician or notify your local building control office, otherwise the work could be illegal.

Further to this, one in six did not know it is a criminal offense to carry out work that does not comply with building regulations, while one in five are not aware that when moving into a new home, you should always ask to see a certificate to prove the house meets the current wiring regulations.

The Electrical Safety Council is, therefore, urging anyone planning on carrying out electrical work in their home to always use a registered, competent electrician to ensure that the work will always meet the necessary regulations.

Phil Buckle, director-general of the Electrical Safety Council, comments: “Some of the figures from this survey are truly alarming.  There is clearly a need to continually educate homeowners on the dangers of electricity in the home.

“With this in mind, the Electrical Safety Register was launched by our charity in partnership with the Electrical Contractors’ Association to offer consumers an easy to use the database, where they can find a certified contractor and be sure that the work that is carried out will be safe and up to standard.

“We hope that by launching the Register, we can help to reduce the number of deaths and accidents that occur each year through incorrect electrical work.”

Tony Cable, spokesperson for the Electrical Safety Register, adds: “These shocking survey results really do highlight the importance of the Electrical Safety Register.

“It is vital that people make sure that the electrician is registered, especially since less than a quarter of those asked even bother to check their sparky is fully certified.

“When looking for someone to carry out electrical work, too many homeowners are making their decisions based on cost, rather than credentials; a mistake that can prove to be deadly.  Therefore we are urging people to use the Electrical Safety Register to help them to find a competent local electrician, so that they can stay safe in their home.”

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