New safety measures are needed to protect Scottish homeowners from electrocution and electrical fires, lawyers have warned.
"Currently anyone can set up as an electrician in Scotland," said Gordon Dalyell a Scottish spokesman for APIL, an organisation which is dedicated to the rights of needlessly injured people.
"There is no requirement to have any skills, qualifications, or expertise in electrical work before setting up a business as an electrician in Scotland. Homeowners must be protected from substandard electrical work, which could lead to injuries or even deaths from electric shocks or electrical fires."
In response to a Scottish government consultation, APIL has called for a system similar to the widely recognised Gas Safety Register to be implemented to ensure all electricians are qualified for the work they carry out.
"A mandatory safety register for electricians would give people the confidence of knowing their electrician is fully qualified to carry out the work," said Mr Dalyell. "Electricians would be unable to join the register without proper qualifications and training. No one would make the decision to use an unqualified gas company. Electricity safety should be taken just as seriously."
Until proper regulation and specific qualification requirements are in place, Scots looking for a safe, qualified expert to carry out work should look out for electricians or electrical businesses which have voluntarily registered with the regulatory systems listed below:
- Scottish Joint Industry Board
- SELECT (Electrical Contractors’ Association of Scotland) is a trade association for the electrical contracting industry in Scotland.
- NICEIC (the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting) is a registration body that provides assessment and certification services for contractors.
- NAPIT (National Association of Professional Inspectors and Testers) operates an accredited membership scheme in the building services and fabric sector