Every year, 70 people die and over 350,000 are seriously injured in electrical accidents. And electrical fires account for almost half of accidental house fires, over 21,000 each year.
A properly installed and well-maintained installation can significantly reduce the possibility of accident or injury. So, it is important that any electrical installation work is carried out by people who have the knowledge, skills and experience needed to avoid the dangers that electricity can create.
Electrical Safety First recommends that you use an electrican registered with one of the government-approved schemes to carry out any electrical installation work that you need.
Registered electricians work to the UK safety standard BS 7671 (Requirements for Electrical Installations). They will issue a safety certificate for their electrical work to confirm that the installation has been designed, built, inspected and tested in line with that standard.
All of the scheme operators have a complaints procedure to investigate complaints about registered electricians who may not have kept to this national standard.
Research has found that a quarter of UK adults do not use registered electricians and a third of people have hired an electrician based on a recommendation, without checking their credentials.
Is your electrical installation turning your home into a death trap?
"I’ve spent years investigating all the tricks in the dodgy geezer’s book, from simple cons that target vulnerable people, to the most elaborate schemes. You need to be on the lookout for tradesman who are deliberately deceiving you, as well as those who are incompetent or trying to ‘blag it’. Electrical accidents seriously injure thousands of people every year. So it’s not worth taking a gamble - follow these tips to make sure you get a registered electrician"
Find out more about recent media campaigns, which have focused on the importance of checking the credentials of the tradespeople you use (November 2013) and on knowing when the best advice should be DON'T DIY! (August 2013).