Are your electrics safe ?

The NICEIC carried out telephone interviews with a total of 500 householders, to find out their views and practices regarding electrical work and safety around the house.

The sample was taken equally from five geographical regions around the UK – Scotland, Wales, Northern England, The Midlands and Southern England, with a mixture of male and females being interviewed.

The results of the survey!

A worryingly high 40% of the sample claimed to have no idea as to the age of the wiring within their house.
Of the remainder, 38% stated it to be 10 years old or under, 19% 10-30 years old and a final 3% over 30 years old. When asked whether they knew how often house wiring should be checked by a qualified person, over 52% stated that they did

not know. Interestingly, taking those 26 individuals who claimed their house wiring was 30 years old or more, 50% had no idea as to how often their wiring should be checked.

Five reasons were read out as to why it is important to have house wiring regularly checked. Each respondent was asked to indicate as many reasons as they wanted, 68% said that faulty wiring may start a fire, followed by 33% who said insulation materials break down over time. Interestingly 14% stated that none of the listed were reasons to have house wiring regularly checked.

A new law came into force to prevent serious injuries and even death from faulty home electrics, research out from electrical safety body, the NICEIC, has found that the public are woefully unaware of the electrical dangers lurking in their homes. Every householder questioned had electrical hazards in their homes including exposed bare wires, loose cables, old wiring and overloaded sockets.

The research also shows a considerable level of ignorance about the condition of home electrics. The NICEIC found that 40% of people had no idea about the age of the wiring within their house and 1 in 5 said their wiring was as much as 30 years old. More than half of those questioned did not know how often house wiring should be checked by a qualified electrician. Under the new law, Part P of the building regulations, which came into force from January 1st 2005, most electrical work in homes now needs to be carried out by an electrician who is registered under a government approved scheme, such as the NICEIC.

The alternative, for DIYers, is to notify a local building control body before attempting to carry out any electrical work and pay an appropriate fee. Despite this tough new law, over 70% of householders questioned still felt confident to tackle DIY electrical tasks. 17% of DIYers would tackle wiring in new plug sockets, nearly 10% would wire in an electric shower and 3% said they would even be happy re-wiring the whole house.

New research has revealed that homeowners are risking their lives by not getting their electrics fully checked, leaving potentially deadly faults lurking in thousands of homes.

Our survey revealed that nearly nine out of ten (89%) homeowners don’t really think about getting their electrics fully tested, with eighty eight percent (88%) confessing that getting their gas boiler checked is more important to them. Over a third (32%) admitted they have never had the electrics in their home fully tested

That’s why NICEIC has launched ‘MOT Your Home’, a national consumer safety campaign warning homeowners about the dangers of electrical DIY. Fronted by home-improvement expert, Linda Barker, the new campaign encourages homeowners whose property is over 10 years old to employ a registered electrician to carry out a Periodic Inspection Report, which acts like an MOT for the property.

Linda Barker, NICEIC spokesperson, says: “I’ve teamed up with the NICEIC to encourage consumers to get their homes checked and make electrical safety a top priority. Even though it’s tempting to try and save a few pennies where possible at the moment, a simple home MOT could save lives. To help homeowners ensure optimum electrical safety in their home I’ve put together some simple tips and advice to protect families and homes from electrical fire risks.”