Plugs in sockets with woman's hand - Peabody safety advice

A large number of domestic fires are caused by electrical faults. Read our guide to electrical safety

It's vital to look after electrical equipment – just because something works doesn't mean it's safe. To make sure your home is safe, you should inspect electrical fittings and equipment to make sure they're in good condition. Look out for the following:


  • Plugs should fit tightly into sockets.
  • Their casing should be free from cracks. 
  • Watch out for burn marks or signs of overheating.
  • The cable should be firmly secured in the plug.
  • None of the pins should be bent.
  • The cardboard label on the bottom of the plug should be removed.
  • Plugs shouldn't rattle.


  • Leads should be free from cuts, fraying and damage.
  • Don't use two- or three-way multiway adaptors.
  • If you're using an extension lead, make sure it's fully uncoiled.


  • Sockets should be free from cracks or other damage
  • Check them for burn marks and signs of overheating
  • Make sure they're properly secured to the wall.
  • Make sure the switch works properly.

Carrying out electrical work yourself

You must have our permission before any electrical work is carried out in your home – and we'll need confirmation that the work has been done by a qualified person.

Electrical work must always be carried out by an electrician registered with the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting (NICEIC).

The NICEIC website allows you to search for registered electricians in your area, as well as providing safety advice for householders.

Find out more