One death and 80 preventable electrical fires every week means lives at risk this bank holiday weekend
Plug Into Safety campaign launches to cut deaths and injuries caused by electrical accidents
Every week in the UK someone dies in an electrical accident at home, and one in eight has had a serious electrical shock1. Yet on the eve of a bumper DIY and gardening weekend, new research commissioned by the Electrical Safety Council2 shows just how little the UK thinks about electrical safety:
- Over half of us haven’t checked our electrics – or had them professionally checked – in the last 12 months
- A third of us say we are not concerned about electrical safety and;
- Almost 13 million homes in the UK3 do not have adequate RCD (residual current device)4 protection – which can save your life, protect against dangerous electrical shock and reduce the risk of electrical fires.
RCDs are particularly important when using mains powered tools or electrical equipment outdoors. So, as we gear up for a bank holiday when thousands of people will be using lawn mowers and power tools for DIY and gardening, the Electrical Safety Council is launching the Plug into Safety campaign. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the dangers of electricity in the home and garden by encouraging us to take a few minutes to check our electrics and use RCD protection.
Campaign supporter, celebrity builder Tommy Walsh says: “If you are dusting off your power tools this weekend for a bit of DIY, take a few tips from me. Check your electrics and don’t use any appliances, lighting and switches that are faulty or visibly damaged. And, if you don’t already have it, consider fitting RCD protection. A plug-in RCD costs as little as £10 from most garden or hardware stores. Or consider upgrading to a modern fuse box with built-in RCDs. It could be a life-saver”.
“The link between Bank Holidays and two of the UK’s favorite leisure pursuits – gardening and DIY – led us to launch the Plug into Safety campaign this weekend”, explains Philip Buckle, Director General of the ESC. “The campaign aims to raise awareness of the dangers of electricity in the home and garden by encouraging everyone to take a few minutes to check their electrics – and use RCD protection.”
Plug into Safety aims to cut the number of people killed or injured through electrical accidents – and the most common can happen as we undertake DIY or get out in the garden this weekend. Of 281 survey respondents5 who have experienced an electric shock, the most typical causes of accidents are:
- Using appliances that are faulty (23%)
- Cutting through power leads (10%)
The ESC wants the Plug into Safety campaign to increase awareness of RCDs in much the same way that smoke alarms were promoted by the Government’s ‘Fire Kills’ campaign. When ‘Fire Kills’ started only 9% of households had smoke alarms – now they are in over 80% of homes. With help from a range of partners – including the fire service, housing providers, government and electricians – the ESC aims to take RCDs mainstream.