Electrical Safety for Landlords (Video)

Frank Bertie from the NAPIT Group gives advice on how to prepare your property for the holiday season- including the electrical warning signs to look out for, the common electrical mistakes people make and advice on people should their electrics if they go away.

  • Electric heaters can lead to fires, particularly if clothes are left on them to dry
  • Electrics they aren’t properly installed can lead to increased shock risk
  • If you go away switch sockets off and unplug them – fridges, freezers etc excluded


The main electrical problems and hazards in your home during the festive Winter period is the increased use of electric heaters that can lead to extra loads being put on the property. It could also lead to clothing being put on top of heaters to dry things in the Winter when there's no outside drying, so it can lead to fires from heavy use of equipment.

Obviously coming into Winter you've got the electric lights for the Christmas decorations and there's been a high increase in the use of electrical decorations within the home and externally in the gardens - you've got the fancy reindeer, the blow-up Santas, and if the electrics aren't properly installed it could lead to increased shock risk as well - especially outside in the garden where you don't normally get a lot of electrics, and if people haven't installed the correct circuits, sockets, protective equipment, it can lead to shock to themselves and to anyone visiting the property.

The biggest thing with electrical appliances (if you have existing ones) is making sure there's no damage to them - if they've been put away in the attic since the last Christmas you've got to make sure the lights are fully working and there's no damage to the cable or the sockets. If you're going to be buying new equipment you have to make sure it is properly marked - there's a lot of (especially during these busy periods), there is a lot of counterfeit electrical goods coming on to the market for decorations, presents, things like that - there's quite a lot of counterfeit and dodgy equipment.

During the festive period if people are going away from home, they have to take particular care with appliances - most appliances are left on standby mode but if you're away that power is still on and can lead to potential fires if there is a problem in the property so it's better to switch the sockets off, unplugging your appliances (apart from the essentials like the fridges and make sure they're okay), and if anyone is leaving any radios or lights on for deterring burglars etc they've got to make sure they're in perfect working order before the start and have the timers (if they're going to use those) to be working correctly and set correctly. Online there's a lot of sites that give details about electric safety - if you go to the electric safe site, they can go to the NAPIT site, they can go to Trading Standards or they can go to Citizens Advice Bureau and they'll give details of what people should be carrying out this time of year.