ELECTRICAL SAFETY REGULATION: What You Need to Know

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NOTIFICATION TO LANDLORDS

ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT (SAFETY) REGULATIONS 1994 (s.i.1994/3260)

  

Consumer Protection Act 1987 and the European Communities Act 1972:  Transitional Arrangements 9th January 1995

 The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations requires that electrical items supplied by a Landlord are safe.   Only electrical equipment which does not jeopardise the safety of people, domestic animals and property should be used.   The function of the regulations is to protect tenants, via a set of safety standards.   It will mean that you have legal obligations to protect your tenants from injury and death.

Accordingly, for your own protection we strongly recommend that any items supplied be tested on a regular basis.   Should you let a property where the electrical items could be old, likely to be faulty or untested, you could be deemed not to have taken ‘reasonable steps’ to protect your tenants from serious injury or death.   All responsible Landlords will want to provide safe accommodation.

 

1.  WHAT DOES THIS LEGISLATION SAY?

General Safety:  all electrical equipment supplied is safe and is tested as safe on a regular basis.

Instructions: Where the safe use of equipment relies on a particular characteristic, instruction as to use should be supplied.

Labelling: A CE label must be marked on products sold after January 1995.

 

2. TESTING SPECIFICATIONS

The current regulations specify that all electrical items supplied by you are in a safe order.   The method we recommend of testing for safety and repair would involve:

 

  1. Inspecting and listing for conformity to required or relevant standards, noting make, model and serial numbers.   Case covers, cables and plugs are inspected for defects or damage and, wherever necessary, fitted with plugs and cables conforming to standards.   Fuses are checked for the correct loading, then replaced if not conforming to standards or required loading.
  2. Various checks, such as earth-bonding, insulation, wear, leakage and repair or maintenance requirements will be performed.   Every appliance should be conspicuously labelled with test date and signature of the Inspector, with all results recorded.

 

3. WHAT HAPPENS IF AN APPLIANCE FAILS?

In the event of a failure the appliance will be immediately disabled by the removal of the plug and a warning sticker applied.   The only exception will be freezers, for reasons of hygiene.   Any replacement appliance will have to be tested for safety by the supplier.

 

4. WHAT APPLIANCES ARE AFFECTED?

Any electrical item supplied by the Landlord, i.e.

Refrigeration Units                  Vacuum Cleaners

Audio Visual Equipment         Toasters

Kettle, Coffee Machines etc    Fan/Wall Heaters

Microwaves                            Lamps

Hairdryers                              Irons

Mowers, Hedge Cutters          Immersion Heaters

Storage Heaters                     Alarm Systems

De-Humidifiers

 

5. WHAT APPLIANCES ARE NOT AFFECTED?

Fence Controllers

Passenger Lifts

 

6. WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES IF I DO NOT COMPLY?

Any breach of the regulations by the Landlord, or, where appropriate the Managing Agent is a criminal offence under Section 33 or Section 36(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.and which involves the offender in a potential maximum fine in the magistrates court of £5,000 or imprisonment.

There are penalties for non-compliance.   The penalties could, of course, be far greater if a fatality occurred as a result of a breach of the Regulations and a separate civil case was brought.   If reported, the prosecuting authority would be the Health and Safety Executive.

 

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