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Electrical safety

Important advice to help you improve electrical safety, including top safety tips and information about your electrical safety check.

  • What we do
  • What you need to do
  • Electrical safety advice

Updated: 3 January 2024

Your free electrical safety check

Your safe use of electrical equipment and installations is an important part of electrical safety fire prevention.

We will check the electrics in your home at least every five years to make sure they are safe and working properly. We will ensure that all electrical work is carried out by a competent person.

We will also test any electrical equipment and white goods that Torus owns.

An electrical safety check is not an option and is legally required. If you don’t allow us to complete this you are putting your tenancy, your families and your neighbours’ safety and health at great risk and is breach of your tenancy agreement and can result in us being forced into taking legal action to gain access.

Why electrical safety matters

Electrics can be extremely dangerous and are the leading cause of domestic fires in the UK. Use our practical advice to reduce the risk of causing a fire or getting an electric shock at home.

The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (Regulation 11), together with the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989, place important obligations on landlords to ensure that electrical systems are maintained in a safe condition.

All electrical installations deteriorate with age and use. They should be inspected and tested to check they are in a satisfactory condition for continued use and your safety. The electric service checks the condition of the electrical outlets, switches and wiring in your house.

Our contractor will need access to the mains board/fuse box and all rooms to check the sockets, switches and light fittings. They will carry out any necessary repairs during the electric service. Your electric service will last approximately 2-4 hours, dependant on the size of your home.  

What we do

For all fixed wiring installations and equipment owned by Torus, we will carry out testing and routine maintenance repairs. We use a combination of rewiring or upgrade work where sub-standard installations are identified.

This essential safety check is carried out every five years.

Depending on the size and condition of the electrical installation within your home, it is anticipated that the electrical safety inspection and test could take between two and four hours to complete.

We will need to check all electrical wiring and components throughout the property.

If you have any questions or concerns about the visit or need any advice and support please call us, we will do our best to help.

We will always write to you ahead of the date of your electrical safety check. So, if your appointment isn’t convenient you have plenty of time to let us know and rebook for a time that suits you better. To rearrange your electrical appointment, you can:

Please try to let us know ahead of the date of your original appointment if you do need to rearrange, so that we don’t turn up as planned and that appointment can be offered to someone else.

Allowing access to your home: It’s a condition of your tenancy agreement to allow access for the electrical safety check. If you don’t allow our contractor into your home to carry out your safety check, you may be putting your life and those of your family and neighbours at risk. As a result, we may take legal action to gain access to complete, and recharge the associated costs back to you, we would rather not have to do this, so please let us in.

What do you need to do?

  • Allow us access to your home for the electrical safety check. You will receive an appointment letter when your electrical safety check is due. If you can’t be at home for this appointment, please let us know and we’ll change it for one that suits you better.
  • Report any electrical safety concerns to us immediately.
  • You are responsible for ensuring any electrical equipment you own is safe and well maintained.
  • Ensure that your own electrical appliances, light fittings, switches etc are installed by a competent person and that equipment and accessories are kept in a safe condition.
  • If you intend to carry out any additions or alterations to the fixed wiring which could include, but are not limited to, additional sockets replacement sockets, switches, light fittings, the installation of an electric shower, power supply to an outbuilding etc. you must request permission in writing to carry out that work and upon completion ensure that the relevant certification is provided by the person/organisation carrying out the work. We will respond to any requests made in writing.

If you have any questions or concerns about the visit or need any advice and support please call us, we will do our best to help. 

Contact us

Energy Theft and Meter Tampering

Tampering with gas or electricity meters isn’t just dangerous – it’s also illegal.

Tampering or meter cheating is when a person tampers with a meter, so it doesn’t record how much electricity or gas is being used or tries to bypass the meter completely.  

Energy theft is not only illegal, but incredibly dangerous and can have potentially fatal consequences.  A tampered meter poses a risk to human life – for you, your family members, neighbours, and community.

Find out more about the dangers, legal consequences and support available if you are struggling to pay your energy bill

Electrical safety advice

Useful tips and information to keep you and your family safe.

  • Make sure your plugs, cables and sockets are all in good working order.
  • Don’t overload sockets with too many appliances – if you need an adaptor, use a good quality multi-socket extension lead.
  • Keep electrical leads away from water.
  • Never use visibly damaged plugs, cables or sockets.
  • Ensure plugs fit tightly into sockets.
  • Fully extend extension leads before use.
  • Don’t run cables or extension leads under carpets or rugs.
  • Don’t overload sockets with too many electrical appliances.
  • Don’t drill holes or fix nails in walls or partitions without knowing what is hidden behind them - they can hide electrical cables, gas and water pipes.

  • Only buy electronic appliances and items from trustworthy sources and use them according to the manufacturer’s guidance.
  • Always keep electrical appliances away from water - don’t bring mains-powered portable appliances such as hairdryers, heaters or radios into a bathroom.
  • Switch off electrical appliances when not in use.
  • Always follow the manufacturer's guidance for electric items.
  • Check electrical equipment used outdoors is suitable for outdoor use.
  • Always use a charger that is designed for use with the product - only use chargers supplied with mobile phones and devices.
  • Don’t leave mobile phones or devices charging overnight.
  • Use the correct type and wattage of bulb for light fittings.

  • Don’t cover heaters or dry clothes on them.
  • If possible, secure heaters to walls so they can’t fall over.
  • Position heaters away from flammable bedding, curtains and furniture.
  • Don’t leave heaters unattended or fall asleep with them on.
  • Don’t switch electric blankets on while folded or crumpled up.
  • Don’t use a hot water bottle with an electric blanket.
  • Check electric blankets for scorch marks.

  • The safest way to charge a vehicle is using a dedicated charging point. If you think your driveway is suitable for installing one, please contact us first to request permission.
  • Never run an electric cable from your own home across the public footway - this is a safety hazard and must not be done.
  • Check your charging cable regularly and replace it if damaged.
  • If you’re charging from a 13A mains socket, be aware that old wiring may not be able to cope with the demand from charging your vehicle overnight and may be a fire risk.
  • Never use a domestic multi-socket extension lead when charging electric vehicles. If you need to use an extension lead, only use one suitable for outdoor use, such as a reel cable.
  • Never “daisy-chain” extension leads: plugging one extension lead into another increases the risk of electrical fires and electric shocks.

Lithium batteries can cause fires and can KILL!

Top tips to keep you, your family, and neighbours safe:

  • Only use branded, genuine products/charging devices from reputable retailers that meet UK safety standards
  • Never charge electric bikes or e-scooters while you are sleeping or not at home
  • Unplug device once it has finished charging
  • Don’t leave continuously on charge - lithium-ion batteries work best if only charged 20 to 80%
  • Never cover the charger as this could lead to it overheating or setting on fire and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions
  • Be wary of DIY kits bought online to convert a standard bike into an e-bike
  • When disposing of a lithium-ion battery or electrical device don’t put into your general rubbish, follow manufacturer’s instructions for disposal

Warning signs to look for that indicate your battery is a fire hazard:

  • Heat: Its normal for a battery to generate some heat when charging or in use, however if your devices battery feels extremely hot to the touch there’s a chance its defective and may start a fire.
  • Bulging: A battery bulging or swelling out of shape is a common sign of it failing, if your battery looks swollen you should stop using it immediately
  • Noise: Failing Lithium batteries have been reported to make hissing or cracking sounds
  • Smell: If you notice a strong or unusual smell coming from the battery this could be a sign of it failing
  • Performance: A failure to fully charge or longer charge times can be a sign that your battery is failing
  • Smoke: Your battery or device is smoking a fire has already started evacuate the premises and call the fire brigade battery could potentially explode due to thermal runaway occurring

Never block escape routes with an e-bike or e-scooter and ensure you have working smoke and heat alarms in your home to be alerted to the first signs of fire.

If you have a mobility scooter you need to ensure that it is safely stored and follow simple safety rules when charging.

If you live in a scheme (Extra Care, over 55s sheltered) or flat block you should always seek advice before purchasing or hiring a mobility scooter to ensure you understand your responsibilities and any restrictions on storage, charging and use in communal areas.  Please discuss with your Scheme Manager or Housing Officer to gain permission and will need to agree where you can store and charge the scooter safely.  

Storing your mobility scooter

If you live in a scheme or flat block, scooters should be stored and charged is designated areas only as they are designed for this purpose, if your block or scheme does not have suitable provision, please speak to us so we can assist.

  • Storing and charging mobility scooters in corridors, staircases, foyers and communal areas is forbidden and potentially dangerous.
  • Do not leave chargers on seats and ensue they are left on a non-flammable surface as the battery can become hot and pose a fire risk.
  • In the event of a fire, obstacles like mobility scooters may prevent firefighters from entering the building or other residents from escaping.

Charging your battery safely

  • Like any electrical item, a mobility scooter poses a fire safety risk. They should be stored, and the battery charged, with care and attention and in line with any manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe charging and handle carefully.
  • Make sure you use the correct battery charger for your battery type and size.
  • Make sure there is no frayed, split or loose wiring.
  • To avoid fire or electrical shock do not use extension leads and charge from the nearest
  • socket/charging point available.
  • Always charge in a dry, well-ventilated area, but not in a communal flat area.
  • Do not smoke and do not sit on the scooter whilst charging.

At home

  • Never leave on charge overnight, consider the use of timers.
  • Ensure the scooter is not on your escape route.
  • Ensure you have working smoke alarms and know your escape plan.
  • Power cables are a potential trip hazard. Keep cables tucked out of the way where possible i.e. edges of skirting boards.
  • Make sure you have your scooter regularly serviced by a qualified engineer.

IMPORTANT: Scooters in stored in dedicated storage rooms are stored at owners owns risk, Torus is not responsible or liable for any damage e.g. scratches.  Torus advises all customers to take out their own content’s insurance, find out more about affordable insurance here.

Electrical Safety First:

National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting: