New White Paper ‘Residential Electrical Safety: How to Ensure Progress’

A new White Paper—Residential Electrical Safety: How to Ensure Progress—offers a comprehensive analysis of domestic electrical safety across the EU. It was authored by the Forum for European Electrical Safety (FEEDS) and produced by ECI in conjunction with the International Federation for the Safety of Electricity Users (FISUEL).

Electrical applications have improved our comfort and safety, and multiplied the means of entertaining and communicating. However, older electrical installations can be dangerous if not maintained properly. An estimated 280,000 fires of electrical origin still occur every year throughout the EU, estimated to cause an average of 1,000 fatalities each year and an annual property damage of 6.25 billion euro.


Moreover, new challenges lie ahead that could exacerbate this situation if no action is taken. One major concern is the rising average age of residential electrical installations in Europe. Another is the increasing introduction of many new technologies such as solar panels, heat pumps and electric vehicles into the residential environment. A further consideration is that people are living in their homes for longer, and using an increasing number of electrically operated devices to enable them to do so.


This White Paper makes a comprehensive analysis of the situation of domestic electrical safety in the EU, based on extrapolations of existing figures where they exist. It starts by looking at the origin of electrical safety issues, focusing on the old housing stock and a slow renovation rate. It analyses the causes and consequences of an unsafe electrical installation, and considers ways in which electrical safety is enforced, both in and beyond Europe, including an overview of electrical safety standards.


The economics of electrical safety regulation are discussed, including a cost benefit analysis. The annex includes two European case studies (from France and the UK), electrical safety checklists, and a consideration of the potential impact of the energy transition on electrical safety issues.


“This White Paper emphasises the importance of mandatory inspections of residential electrical installations, and shows how all stakeholders can profit from the financial benefits of improved electrical safety,” says Bernard Respaut from ECI. “It will be of great interest to electrical engineers, policymakers, professional associations, fire brigades, consumer associations, insurance companies, and other organisations and stakeholders dedicated to electrical safety.”

Residential Electrical Safety: How to Ensure Progress can be downloaded in full from