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Campaign for mandatory electrical testing of appliances in rental properties

An electrical testing equipment firm and an MP are setting up a national campaign to demand new laws on appliance testing in rental properties.

The company, Seaward, and Labour MP Grahame Morris are making the move ahead of the first anniversary of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

Morris has sponsored a Parliamentary Early Day Motion and the firm is encouraging insurers to take portable appliance testing into account when evaluating tenanted premises.

Seaward claims PAT testing can highlight problems a tenant or landlord may not be aware of, such as simple wear and tear, recalled items or counterfeit appliances that don’t meet UK safety standards.

Government statistics for 2016-17 show that a faulty electrical appliance was the second largest cause of accidental house fires in the UK and Seaward says that while Scotland adopted new mandatory electrical testing standards for rented properties in 2015 there are no legal requirements for landlords to carry out regular PAT tests in the rest of the UK.

“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” says Morris, the MP for Easington in County Durham.

“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.

“We’ve seen substantial growth of fake and 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” says Michael Kiddle, UK operations director of Hawkesworth.

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