Electrical safety

Almost half of all fires that happen in the home are caused by electricity. And every year, faulty electrics or electrical equipment cause around 70 deaths and 350,000 injuries in UK homes.

But there are simple steps you can take to keep you and your family safe.

Electrical safety tips

  • Don’t plug too many appliances into electrical sockets. You can use this easy online calculator to check if you’re overloading your sockets. Just click and drag the electrical items to plug them into the socket – the calculator will tell you if it’s safe or warn you if it’s overloaded
  • Don’t use electrical appliances in the UK that were made to be used in other countries. They might operate at a different voltage, so they could overheat the plug or cable
  • When you buy an electrical appliance, check it has a CE mark. This shows that the appliance meets European safety standards
  • Don’t repair damaged electrical wiring or appliances yourself
  • Don’t take mains-powered electrical items into the bathroom
  • Don’t touch electrical appliances or switches with wet hands
  • Don’t plug adaptors into other adaptors
  • Don’t store personal items in electricity meter cupboards

Second-hand electrical appliances

Before you buy a second-hand appliance, we recommend you check that:

  • a qualified electrician has run safety checks on it
  • the manufacturer hasn’t issued a safety recall for it

The Register My Appliance website lets you check older appliances to see if there have been any safety warnings for them. You can also register any new appliances you buy so that if there’s a problem with them in future, the manufacturer can automatically send you an update to let you know what to do about it.