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Public warned on electrician safety

25/11/13

By Simon O'Hare

Members of the public are being warned to make sure they employ electricians with the proper safety accreditation.

Members of the public are being warned to make sure they employ electricians with the proper safety accreditation.

Members of the public are being warned to make sure they employ electricians with the proper safety accreditation.

Around one in four people (23 per cent) have hired an electrician without checking their credentials, according to a survey carried out by Populus for the Electrical Safety Council (ESC).

A third of people (36 per cent) have hired an electrician based on a friend's recommendation without making any checks and a quarter (27 per cent) would knowingly use a non-registered electrician if they were in a hurry.

Rise in dangerous work

An estimated 1.3 million people have paid someone to fix botched work carried out by a non-registered electrician, the survey estimated.

The findings come as a separate survey of 200 qualified electricians showed a third (34 per cent) had seen a rise in substandard or dangerous work carried out by non-registered workers in the past two years.

The ESC estimates there are approximately 20,000 non-registered electricians working in the UK.

Each week a person dies from an electrical accident and figures show electrical accidents are responsible for half of all house fires.

The ESC is concerned that a lax approach to electricians' credentials, along with a lack of awareness about how to check those credentials, is leading to otherwise avoidable electrical accidents in people's homes.

Electrical safety gamble

ESC director general Phil Buckle described it as "worrying" that a large number of people do not realise they need to ensure they get a competent professional to carry out electrical work in their home.

"Choosing an electrician registered with a government-approved scheme guarantees they have the skills to carry out the work and ensures procedures are in place should something go wrong," he continued.

"Electrical safety is not something anyone should take a gamble on.

"This is why we are providing information online, to support people in identifying registered electricians in their area.

"You wouldn't get an unregistered tradesperson to fix your boiler so why do it for your electrics."


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