Electrical Safety in Welsh Homes

Electrical Safety in Welsh Homes

Electrical Safety First lobbied for the Welsh Government to undertake a review into electrical fires in Wales, which highlighted higher levels of electrical distribution fires, particularly in South Wales.

Electrical Safety First has published a report into the implications of the Government’s findings with suggestions for how the identified problems should be tackled. The report (available in English and Welsh) can be downloaded at the side of this page.

In Wales, 26% of housing was built before 1919 - considerably higher than in Scotland (20%) and England (21%) - making them at greater risk of fire.  There are also a large number of inter-connected terraced houses in Wales sharing open attic spaces, which can easily allow fires to spread. These factors are likely to have contributed to the fact that unlike in other parts of the UK, electrical distribution fires continued to rise in Wales, many of these caused by old or defective wiring. Whilst these fires have now started to fall, electrically unsafe houses in Wales remain a concern for the Chartity and it is important that these houses can be identified and improved.

The Welsh Government’s available funding for electrical repairs is inadequate, with only £139 potentially available per terraced household in the high-risk South Wales area for electrical safety improvements from current loans, which wouldn’t cover any complex electrical work. Furthermore, Home Safety Visits conducted by the Fire and Rescue Services in Wales, whilst identifying simple electrical problems, often do not pass information on to authorities to improve serious hazards.

Our proposals:

  • A review of how Home Safety Visits deal with electrical safety and if they are fit for purpose.
  • Ensure that electrical safety problems in vulnerable people’s homes are referred to the Care & Repair Agencies for repairs and improvements.
  • A national strategy to improve electrical safety in Welsh Homes.
  • A national advertising campaign to improve electrical safety across Wales.
  • A dedicated fund to tackle electrical disrepair across Wales for those who cannot afford them.