Industry experts have joined forces to launch a campaign urging policy makers to create legislation on appliance testing in rental properties.
It is nearly a year since the tragedy at Grenfell in the London borough of Kensington took 72 lives, and electrical testing equipment expert Seaward, backed by Grahame Morris MP, believe that now is the right time to press for changes in the law to make rented homes safer by introducing new regulations to help save lives.
Seaward wants to see a change in the law to require landlords in England to carry out regular electrical testing on the appliances in their rental properties, in the same way as it is mandatory in Scotland and Wales.
The company is also encouraging insurers to take portable appliance testing (PAT) into account when evaluating tenanted premises, to help highlight problems the tenant or landlord may not be aware of, such as simple wear and tear, recalled items or counterfeit appliances that do not meet UK safety standards.
Morris, a Labour politician, has sponsored an Early Day Motion calling for the topic to be debated in Parliament and support for the national campaign is growing.
He said: “I fully support Seaward’s important fire safety campaign. Electrical faults are one of the leading causes of domestic fires, and are cited as a possible cause of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.
“Regular PAT testing can ensure that electrical faults are identified, helping to prevent potentially lethal fires. It’s a quick, easy and affordable process that can save lives and protect property.”
The campaign is also backed by PAT testing company Hawkesworth Appliance Testing.
Michael Kiddle, UK operations director, said: “Hawkesworth conducts millions of PAT Tests, identifying and failing thousands of faulty appliances every week.
“We have seen substantial growth of fake/counterfeit items which without doubt have made their way into rented homes putting lives at risk.
“It is vital those items along with standard deteriorating appliances are checked, identified and taken out of service.
“Having been a firefighter myself for 13 years I’ve seen first-hand the damage and devastation faulty appliances can cause.”