Concerns over electrical safety.

Halifax Home Insurance is warning of the importance of electrical safety following recent a survey showing that one-in-four second-hand electrical goods failed a standard safety check.

On average, 2,500 people are being killed or injured every year in electrical fires and Halifax Home Insurance confirmed that one fifth of household fire insurance claims are caused by electrical equipment.

The company’s senior underwriter, Vicky Emmott, commented: “We’re concerned that the nation’s renewed appetite of making money out of old items could lead to a slide in electrical safety standards.

“We are calling on anyone buying or selling second-hand electrical items to ensure that the goods meet the required safety standards. Failure to do so could not only leave the sellers open to prosecution but cause damage to the users’ home and put lives as risk.”

Halifax Home Insurance recommends the following advice relating to purchasing second hand electrical items:

* Ask for proof from the seller that the item meets legal safety requirements.
* Look for the CE mark, the BEAB mark, the BS safety mark or British Standard number when you buy electrical equipment.
* If you are unsure if goods are safe you should not buy them.
* If you have already purchased an item and an appliance appears faulty stop using it and have it checked at once.
* Distributors and retailers including second-hand dealers and auctions must only sell appliances that are correctly fitted with an approved plug with sleeved pins and the correct fuse.
* A seller should provide clear wiring instructions for the plug if it is of the rewirable kind.

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