Consumer and Product Safety

Safety Awareness

Safety of Electricity in the home

Devon, Somerset and Torbay Fire and Rescue Service have some useful guidance and tips for safety in the home on their website here, concerning the use of electrical products.

Electrical Safety for Older People

Electrical accidents in the home can pose a more significant risk to older or vulnerable people. This is sometimes due to poor quality housing that contains faulty electrics and appliances.

‘Electrical Safety First’ statistics show that one million people over 75 live in homes that are not warm enough, are in a state of disrepair or do not have modern facilities. These homes can be dangerous if they don’t meet basic electrical safety standards, and don’t include life-saving devices such as a modern fusebox, circuit breakers and PVC wiring. More information can be found on the Electrical Safety First website and you can download their leaflet which offers information on keeping safe around the home for older people.

Safe Electrical installations on your property and the law

If you’re having any work on your home electrics done (including any new extensions, garden, outbuildings etc.), it needs to comply with ‘Part P’ of the Building Regulations. The regulations are designed to protect you, your family and home from any electrical hazards. If you Employ an electrician registered with one of the government-approved Part P electrical self-certification schemes, they will arrange for you to receive a certificate confirming the work meets ‘Part P’ of the Building Regulations; if not you will need to inform your local building control department to ensure it complies.

If it doesn’t comply it will need to be removed or altered.  There are some works where you do not need to inform the local building control department, such as repairs, or replacements and maintenance. More information on ‘Part P’ and what works you don’t need to inform building control, can be found on Electrical Safety First’s website and a booklet produced by the Department for Communities and Local Government gives further detail. Electrical safety first have produced a short film to raise awareness of Part P of the Building Regulations and the legal obligations of homeowners when taking on electrical work; Visit www.presspforparty.com to watch the film.

To find a registered electrician you can use The Electrical Competent Person Scheme  which was created following an agreement between all Government-approved electrical Competent Person Scheme Operators in England and Wales. All electricians listed on the scheme and permitted to display the mark are registered with an electrical Competent Person Scheme Operator authorised by the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and the Welsh Government. This means they meet strict entry requirements, their work is regularly assessed, demonstrating their ability and ongoing competence, and that it meets the correct standards.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon Monoxide is colourless, odourless and potentially deadly. The NHS says that more than 50 people die from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning every year, and 200 people are left seriously ill. This is often caused by incorrect ventilation of carbon monoxide from the home (such as a blocked gas flue), or using carbon monoxide producing products in the wrong place (such as putting a lit camping stove inside a tent).

There are simple things you can do to ensure you do not experience Carbon Monoxide Poisoning. You can find out more about that here.

Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents

RoSPA is a registered charity and has been at the heart of accident prevention in the UK and around the world for more than 90 years. It promotes safety and the prevention of accidents at work, at leisure, on the road, in the home and through safety education. More information can be found on their website.

Sunsmart

Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers in Britain, and one that’s on the increase. Sunsmart is the UK’s national skin cancer prevention campaign. They provide evidence-based information about skin cancer and sun protection. Sunsmart was commissioned by the UK Health Department and is run by Cancer Research UK. The Sunsmart website gives useful facts and figures on the dangers of using sunbeds, including understanding what skin type you are, as well as providing useful resources.