Parliamentary Committees and Public Enquiries
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Electrical equipment in DIY stores should have warning to use registered electricians, say MPs
Labelling on electrical equipment sold by DIY stores must be used to warn that it is illegal for an unregistered person to carry out most electrical works in the home, says the Communities and Local Government Committee. In addition, public awareness about the risk of the odourless, invisible and potentially lethal carbon monoxide fumes must be raised to increase safety in the home, warns the Committee.
When it comes to gas and electrical safety, the Committee concludes that far too many homeowners do not appreciate either the dangers of using sub-standard engineers or their own liability when it comes to faulty gas and electrical work.
Launching the report of a recent inquiry into gas and electrical safety in the home Clive Betts, Chair of the Communities and Local Government Committee, said:
"The Government must co-ordinate a concerted effort by key industry organisations to raise public awareness levels on these crucial issues.
Likewise, more must be done to alert households to the dangers of using sub-standard electricians and of the need to complete regular maintenance checks on electrical circuits in the home."
To that end the Committee recommends that sockets and other electrical equipment sold by DIY stores for electrical installations should carry a health warning that it is illegal for an unregistered person to carry out most electrical works in the home without checks being completed meeting the requirements of the Building Control service.
"The committee will be writing to all the big electrical/DIY stores to highlight this key recommendation. Such labelling is vital to reinforce the important message to the general public that they must use a registered electrician to carry out electrical works in the home. It will also reinforce a broader health and safety message that electrical work can potentially be extremely hazardous,"
adds Clive Betts.
On carbon monoxide alarms, Clive Betts said:
"The Government should oversee a co-ordinated public awareness campaign by the various industry organisations to raise public awareness of carbon monoxide poisoning and ensure homeowners appreciate that they themselves are liable for faulty gas or electrical installations and repairs.
The installation of an audible, wired-up 'EN 50291 compliant' carbon monoxide alarm should be fitted where heating appliances are installed in new or existing homes."
In its current consultation exercise into Building Regulations, the Government has examined further deregulation of Part P, which focuses on electrical installation and repair.
The Committee highlights how evidence gathered since the introduction of these rules demonstrated that deaths and injuries due to electrical faults have decreased.
"We could only support de-regulation if there was clear evidence that safety standards would not suffer, but such evidence has not been provided by the Government,"
says Clive Betts.