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As a terrified Louise Thompson recounts the horrors of being woken up to a house fire in her London home at the weekend, almost a quarter of Brits would rather have a clean house than check their electrics are functioning safely – a recent poll has revealed.
When asked what they prioritised when it comes to keeping their homes safe from hazards, only 16 per cent cited checking their electrics as top of their list of safety measures at home.
The former Made in Chelsea star announced to social media fans on Saturday that she and her family had to evacuate their home in the early hours, thanks to a fire that was started by a faulty wine fridge.
Hexo Electrical Testing commissioned the poll to gauge consumer attitudes on keeping their home electrics healthy and safe.
Michael Evans from Hexo, said: “I know a lot of people will have been shocked by Louise Thompson’s experiences at the weekend. This experience can happen to anyone at any time and as we rely increasingly on electrical goods and gadgets to enhance our everyday lives, regular electrical testing is a quick win to ensure your family and your home is kept safe from potential dangers.”
Gas safety was higher on the agenda, with 35 per cent of those asked making conscious efforts to ensure their connections and appliances were safe.
Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors ranked higher on the list of priorities to check, with 24 per cent of respondents believing these to be the key to alleviating home hazards.
Around eight per cent of those surveyed listed checking sell-by date labels as their number one way to prevent home hazards.
Of those polled, 38 per cent admitted to not having their electrics checked regularly.
Michael Evans from Hexo continued: “We would suggest a check every five years to ensure that your electrical systems are healthy and in full working order. That way, we can pick up any issues before they cause a problem in the home.”
A staggering 19% were unaware of any electric hazards in the home, such as risk of shock from damaged sockets or fire hazards from loose connections.
Christmas Planning
When asked what their number one priority was when it came to ensuring a safe Christmas, 47 per cent are most concerned with having enough food in for Christmas and 44 per cent want to make sure that they have cleaned the house.
In contrast to only 19 per cent, who will plan to have their electrics checked in the run-up to Christmas.
“We would urge people to be particularly vigilant in the lead-up to Christmas, when greater demands are placed on our electrical systems thanks to the increase in Christmas lights, cooking and even having additional people staying in our homes.”
Encouragingly, 27 per cent will check their fire and carbon monoxide alarms in the run-up to Christmas.
Tenants: Know Your Rights
The poll also showed up that those living in rented accommodation did not fully understand their rights and the responsibilities of landlords to maintain safe standards when it came to their electrics.
44 per cent of respondents did not know that landlords have a duty of care to check electrics in their properties every five years.
Michael Evans from Hexo said: “This is a key part of a landlord’s job – to make sure that their tenants are in receipt of safe systems. A five-year check is a legal requirement so if you think your home is due, get in touch with your landlord as soon as possible.”
A savvy 34 per cent of householders said that they made sure their electrics were checked every five years.
Around 23 per cent have cited pulling out of the sale of a house based on dodgy electrics.

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