We're using cookies to give you the best experience on our website.

You can find out more about which cookies we're using here. 

Electrical safety

We have a legal obligation to make sure that the electrical installation in your property is safe. We carry out electrical testing every five years in our properties. We test the electrical equipment in communal areas each year.

Electrical safety checks

It’s recommended best practice that an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) is carried out every five years.

The test can take between two to four hours to complete. We’ll check to make sure there’s no deterioration to cabling or to any switches or sockets. We’ll replace any broken accessories and repair any faults we may find, making sure your home is safe for continued use.

We’ll also check to see if your smoke alarms are present and in working order.

A letter will be sent to you confirming the date when your electrical safety check is due. If the appointment isn’t convenient, you must contact us as soon as possible so we can rearrange.

Missed appointments

It’s really important that you keep your electrical safety check appointment. If you fail to give us access to your home so that we can carry out the check, for example by missing your appointment or not giving us enough notice that you won’t be in, we’ll take all available steps to meet our legal obligations. This may involve taking formal and legal action against you so that we can gain access to your property. Any costs incurred from taking formal action will be charged to you.

It's really important to let us in your home to carry out your electrical safety check
What should I do if there’s a power cut?

If only your home seems to be affected and not your neighbours, it might be that a faulty lightbulb or appliance has caused your power to trip off. You should check your trip box to find out.

If you can’t locate anything causing the electricity to trip off, and it isn’t a full power cut, you’ll need to report the fault to us so that we can send an electrician out to investigate.

If all your power is off and you think there’s a power cut, you can check online with Northern Powergrid (the local network operator).

You can also call 105* no matter who provides your electricity. It’s a free number and they will put you through to your local network operator.

Report a repair Check for local power cuts on Northern Powergrid

During a power cut:

  • Switch off all electrical appliances that shouldn’t be left unattended, ready for when the power comes back on
  • Leave a light on so you know when the power outage has been resolved
  • Check to see if your neighbours are okay
  • Wrap up warm and fill a vacuum flask or hot water bottle
  • Check Northern Powergrid’s website or social media channels for updates

Be prepared for a power cut before it happens:

  • Keep a torch somewhere handy – it’s much safer than using candles
  • Get a battery-powered or wind-up radio (useful for keeping up to date with local news)
  • Keep a blanket and warm clothing handy
  • Stock your cupboard with food and drink that doesn’t require electricity to prepare it
  • Remember to keep your mobile phone and other devices charged with important contact details saved

Northern Powergrid and Northern Gas Network Priority Services Register

Power cuts or an interruption to your gas supply can cause worry, especially if you or someone you care for is vulnerable. You could benefit from joining the free Priority Services Register if you, or someone you care for:

  • is medically dependent
  • has a chronic or serious illness or mental health care needs
  • has poor mobility or other disability
  • is elderly or with young children
  • has trouble communicating

They will give you extra support or advice in a power cut or interruption to your gas supply. To find out more about the service or to join, please visit the Northern Powergrid website here or the Northern Gas Network website here.

You Could Get Additional Support With Northern Powergrid's Free Priority Services Membership

Top tips: keeping electrics safe at home

  • Don’t overload your sockets and extension leads with lots of plugs
  • Do visual checks and make sure your plugs, sockets, and wires are all in good condition
  • Look for signs of dangerous or loose wires - things like scorch marks, hot plugs, and sockets and fuses that blow or trip
  • Beware of dangerous electrical goods sold online – look for safety markings
  • Don’t use the top of the microwave for storage
  • Don’t take any mains powered items into the bathroom
  • Remember that water and electricity are not friends – keep them away from each other
  • Only use electrical gardening equipment outside when it’s dry
  • If you’re using electrical heaters, make sure that they’re kept away from curtains and furniture fabrics, paper, and never use them to dry clothes
Beware of fake an unsafe electrical products sold online

Beware of fake and unsafe electrical products sold online

Keep heaters away from flammable materials

Keep heaters away from anything that could catch fire

Don't overload sockets or leave things charging overnight

Don't overload your sockets

Don't mix electricity and water - keep mains items out of the bathroom

Water and electricity don't mix - keep mains items out of the bathroom

Visit Electrical Safety First for more information and advice Safe shopping online – how to spot fake electrical products
Electric scooters and e-bikes – charging batteries and maintenance

Like all electrical items, mobility scooters, e-bikes and e-scooters with a lithium battery can cause a fire risk. If the batteries become damaged or begin to fail, they can start fires that spread quickly out of control. 

You can reduce the risk of a lithium battery catching fire by:

  • Charging your batteries safely
  • Spotting the warning signs that a battery might be dangerous

When charging lithium batteries:

  • Don’t block your exit with charging batteries, mobility scooters, e-bikes, or e-scooters - keep your exit route clear at all times
  • Never leave your battery to charge when you’re out or asleep
  • Make sure your battery and charger meet UK safety standards
  • Use the correct charger for your battery and only buy from a reputable seller
  • Let your battery cool before charging it
  • Unplug your charger once the battery has charged
  • Check the smoke alarms in the area where you charge your batteries
  • Know the warning signs that your battery might be failing and becoming a fire risk (see below)
Someone On An Escooter
Lady Riding A Mobility Scooter

Before a failing lithium battery catches fire, there are often a few warning signs. If you see any of these signs you'll need to take immediate action to stay safe and reduce the risk of fire:

  • Heat - it’s normal for batteries to generate some heat when charging or in use but if the battery feels extremely hot to the touch it might be damaged
  • Bulging - a battery bulging or swelling out of shape is a common sign of it failing - if your battery looks swollen, has any lumps, or is leaking - you should stop using it immediately
  • Noise - failing lithium batteries have also been reported to make hissing or cracking sounds
  • Smell - a strong or unusual smell coming from the battery could also be a sign of it failing
  • Performance - a failure to fully charge or longer charge times can be a sign that your battery is failing
  • Smoke - if your battery or device is smoking, a fire has already started

What you should do if your lithium battery is a fire risk

If your battery shows any of these signs of failing, immediately turn off the device and unplug it from the power source. 

Call the device manufacturer or retailer for further instructions. If the device starts smoking or catches fire, raise the alarm, get out, stay out and call 999 immediately. 

Disposing of a lithium battery

Lithium batteries shouldn’t be placed in your wheelie bin or communal bin due to the fire risk they pose. Instead you should dispose of them safely at your local household waste recycling centres.  

In our independent living schemes

We have specific guidance for residents living in our independent living schemes:

  • Mobility scooters should be recharged within the designated charging area and should be charged according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Recharging should only be carried out during daytime hours and not overnight.
  • The scooter store should not be used for charging up of any other personal items, such as laptops or mobile phones
  • All scooters must have an up-to-date Portable Appliance Test (PAT test) to ensure that the charging equipment is in good condition. The PAT test will be carried out by Berneslai Homes on an annual basis. Residents must make sure that the equipment is available for testing when notified of the date.
  • If any equipment fails the PAT test, it will be the scooter owner’s responsibility to repair/replace the damaged item before it can be used again.
  • Residents must ensure that the scooter is serviced and maintained regularly, and this is the responsibility of the scooter owner.
Don't be tempted to tamper

With energy prices sky high, one of the growing crimes in the UK is meter cheating. This is when a person tampers with a meter so it doesn’t record how much electricity or gas is being used, or tries to bypass the meter completely.

It’s very dangerous and causes injuries and death to many innocent people each year:

  • Electric shock and severe burns to someone tampering with electrical equipment
  • Exposed wires and connections that can overheat and catch fire
  • Gas leaks that are highly flammable and can easily ignite causing fires and explosions

Please don’t ever be tempted to try and tamper with your gas or electricity meters. It puts you, your family, your neighbours, and others in danger. If you suspect a meter has been tampered with, please report it immediately. Visit the Stay Energy Safe website here.    

If you’re worried now and struggling to pay your energy bills, our Tenants First Service can help and support you. Please get in touch as soon as possible.

Contact the Tenants First team Get help with the cost of living

Communal areas

We test all our electrical equipment in communal areas, from small stairways with just a few lights to our larger more complex sheltered communal areas, to make sure all our buildings are well maintained and safe for continued use.


All the lifts in our buildings are serviced monthly and have a thorough inspection every six months.

Registered address:

10th floor, Gateway Plaza, off Sackville St, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, S70 2RD

Berneslai Homes Limited is a company controlled by Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council. A company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales, number 4548803