Toggle mobile menu visibility

L.I.V.E. Electrical fires and safety

We want all of Norfolk to be electrically fire safe. That's why we have created L.I.V.E, to remind our residents how to stay safe at home.

We've worked with NAPIT, an electrical trade association, and our partners at Trading Standards to develop advice and guidance, and produce some short videos which demonstrate how electrical problems in the home can lead to a fire.

L.I.V.E stands for:

L - Look, listen, smell
I - Investigate and isolate
V - Visit Registered Competent Person Electrical to find an approved electrician
E - Emergency, if your house is on fire call 999

Look for signs of yellow discolouration on consumer units, switches and sockets. Listen for electrical arcing which is a buzzing noise around accessories. This could be a sign of a loose or failing electrical connection. Smell of fishy plastic burning which could mean that plastic is overheating.

Investigate and Isolate your electrical supply. If you see burning, overheating or damage turn off the electrics by operating the main switch.

Visit Registered Competent Person Electrical and find a qualified and competent electrical contractor who is registered with a UKAS accredited, Government authorised 'competent person scheme'.

Emergency. If your house is on fire get out, stay out and call the emergency services out.

The fire risk

Nationally, just under half of house fires in England over the last five years had an electrical cause. Common causes include faulty electrical installations, appliances or leads, or misuse of electrical equipment.

Read guidance and advice on ensuring the safety of electrical appliances and their usage.

In Norfolk in 2019-20, there were 418 house fires recorded with 299 of those having an electrical cause.

Dangers associated with electrical current

The human body is a good conductor of electricity - it flows easily through our bodies.

Why? Humans are made up of 70% water, something electricity can move through easily. Electricity will always take the quickest possible path to earth.

A real electric shock is very painful and dangerous. Symptoms include:

  • Muscles tighten up, making it almost impossible to let go of the equipment
  • Lungs constrict, making it hard to breathe
  • Heart constricts and blood vessels tighten
  • Burns occur when electricity enters and exits the body

What is the law regarding electrical work?

All electrical work must meet building regulations to ensure you and your family are safe. Using an electrician from the competent person scheme ensures the safety of you and your family. You can be confident their work complies with the law.

Competent electricians will be able to self-certify their work to ensure it complies with the British Standard for electrical safety BS7671. If you do not use a competent person you may have to get the work certified yourself to ensure it complies with the law.

Not all electrical work needs to be notified to the local council, but all work needs to comply with the Building Regulations.

In England, notifiable works include:

  • New electrical circuits
  • Replacement fuse boxes (consumer units)
  • Alterations to existing circuits in a bathroom (within a certain proximity of baths or showers)
  • Alterations to existing circuits in any room that contains a swimming pool or sauna

If you use a registered competent electrician via Registered Competent Person Electrical, they can advise you of whether your work is notifiable and you will know you are in safe hands.

Electrical fire safety videos

Share this page

Facebook icon Twitter icon Email icon


Print icon