Following yet another visit to a local home this week that had been the victim of a home fire due to faulty electrics, I decided to search for some statistics on the subject.

Whilst most people wouldn’t dream of attempting to swap out an old gas fire or cooker, I go to people’s homes every week where I either find botched DIY efforts of people trying to replace light fittings or sockets, and I also regularly find hidden dangers that previous owners have left behind. The current owners have no idea about these, or just how easily they could and do cause a disaster.

Whilst having looked at the stats (I have copied them to the end of this post if you’d like to take a look) electricity distribution (i.e. the cables that run above your ceilings, under your floors and inside the walls throughout your house) isn’t in the number 1 spot as the cause of fires in UK homes (it’s actual position is no. 3) the number 1 and 2 spots are taken by “cooking appliances” which can be electrical and “other electrical equipment”, “central and water heating appliances” which covers off gas boilers and the gas installations in the home only ranks at number 7. Showing just how dangerous electricity can be.

As I’m sure many of you do, every year in our house we have a gas Safe engineer visit to service our boiler and other gas appliances to confirm they are safe, this is considered as part of life for any home owner and is law for landlords to have completed for their tenants.

Well did you know considering the information you’ve just read that a similar check of your electrical installation is also available, again a check that landlords have to perform for their tenants by law as it’s important in the interests of safety. The big difference is with the electrical test compared to the gas test, the electrical test in a privately owned home is only required every 10 years, it costs approximately £180 (just £18 per year compared to an average yearly gas test at £75-£100 per year) for an average sized 3 bed home. For me if I couldn’t do this for myself it would be a no brainer to ensure the safety of my home and family.

The test takes for an average sized home just 4 – 5 hours and is no more disruptive than loosening off some lights fittings, sockets and switches to check for compliance with the current regulations and any loose connections (loose connections are the biggest cause for potential fires) and some testing of each circuit at you consumer unit (fuse box).

Their are lots of electricians in the Hinckley and Bosworth area that can complete these checks for you so please if you can, get yours checked and make sure you and your family are safe.

And don’t forget if you are a tenant your landlord by law has to have your electrics checked every 2 years or every time they have new tenants, if you think yours could he overdue be sure to talk to your landlord about it a soon as possible.

What are the most common causes of house fires in the UK?
The most common causes of accidental house fires in the UK according to official Home Office statistics are as follows:

  1. Cooking appliances
  2. Other electrical appliances
  3. Electrical distribution
  4. Smokers’ materials
  5. Space heating appliances
  6. Candles
  7. Central and water heating appliances
  8. Cigarette lighters
  9. Matches
  10. Blowlamps, welding and cutting equipment

Chart showing the most common causes of house fires in the UK.

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