Free home safety booklet

In the news

21 November 2011 10:44

New research shows dangers of electricity gravely underestimated and that millions of people in the UK are risking their lives with basic electrical blunders.

The Electrical Safety Council (ESC), a UK charity that’s dedicated to keeping people safe by reducing the risk of electrical accidents around the home, has produced a FREE booklet called How Safe Is Your Home?.

A new study has found that millions of people in the UK expose themselves and their families to potentially fatal accidents in the home through simple electrical blunders because of an alarming lack of knowledge about the dangers of electricity. The new ESC guide is designed to help people ensure their families and homes are safe. 
 
The research reveals a dangerous level of ignorance about the perils of electricity in UK households. In the past year, almost one million people have repaired an appliance while it is still plugged in; despite the fact this can result in a fatal or serious injury. Other electrical ‘confessions’ included knowingly using faulty plugs or sockets, ignoring burning smells coming from an appliance or socket and trailing cables near hot surfaces or cookers. People are severely misjudging the risks involved with electricity.  At least one person dies each week and 350,000 people are seriously injured annually.  

Easy to prevent

Download the FREE guide here to find out how you can keep yourself safe. Most electrical accidents can be prevented by a Residual Current Device (RCD), a life-saving device which prevents you from getting a fatal electric shock if you touch something live, such as a bare wire. It works by cutting power if there is a surge. However, the ESC study  found 70% of people surveyed do not know what an RCD is, and almost half of all UK homes (49%) don’t have adequate RCD protection.  In contrast, smoke alarms are owned by 88% of the population but nearly half of accidental house fires in the UK are caused by electricity.
 
Celebrity home improvers, Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan, want people to take charge of their electrical safety. Colin says: “We have seen plenty of dodgy wiring in our time but often it is the simple things that people could check themselves – such as a wire left near a hot surface or an overloaded socket – that can lead to a serious accident. We are urging everyone – including those looking to move into a new home – to download the free ESC guide as a basic protection for themselves and their families.”

Free and impartial help

The new ESC booklet allows anyone to do a quick, visual check around the house, to ensure its electrical safety. Director General of the ESC, Phil Buckle, says: “Electricity has become vital to our lives since the formation of the National Grid, 76 years ago. Yet even though we are using more electrical products than ever before, there is a worrying gap between the public’s perception of electrical danger and the reality, with people making simple yet potentially fatal errors that can be easily prevented. The ESC’s How Safe Is Your Home? booklet was designed to bridge that gap.”
 
For more information on all aspects of electrical safety visit the ESC website at www.esc.org.uk