FEEDS Reports

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Residential Electrical Safety – How to Ensure Progress (2020)

“In Europe, 25 to 30% of domestic fires have an electrical source”

Residential Electrical Safety – How to Ensure Progress

Title: Residential Electrical Safety – How to Ensure Progress
Date: March 2020

In the past 120 years, electricity has become the overarching energy source in our everyday life. Its applications have improved our comfort and safety, multiplying the means of entertaining and communicating.

However, domestic electricity can be dangerous. Specifically, the safety of older electrical installations is a concern in the countries of the European Union, given the low renovation rate of dwellings and their electrical installations. At the same time, the uses of domestic electricity continues to diversify and develop, progressively posing increasingly important challenges in terms of quality and safety of electrical energy used in households.

The safety deficiencies of obsolete electrical installations generally result from the aging of their components, the lack of maintenance and inappropriate usage. The dangers they represent are also clearly identified. The risks of electrification and electrocution are well known, but fires of electrical origin and their consequences are the most worrying.

To learn more

European Data, key figures by country – Sourced and extrapolated data

Case Study France

Prosiel published in 2020 a white paper entitled “Gli italiani e la sicurezza elettrica (Italians and electrical safety)” resulting of a qualitative and quantitative cognitive investigation that Prosiel commissioned to the Piepoli Institute.

Accidental Electrical Domestic Fires (2021)

“The vast majority of residential fires are preventable”

Accidental Electrical Domestic Fires

Title: Accidental Electrical Domestic Fires
Date: April 2021

Reading fire statistics with the aim of prevention: when analysing fire statistics, the number of accidental fires is obtained by removing arson from the total number of fires. It is an interesting approach in the sense that it counts only fires that could have been influenced by preventive actions targeting the dwelling, its installation and its occupants. This is in contrast to data where arson is included, which falls within the field of crime prevention and is much harder to reduce, if possible, at all.

While investigating the fire statistics through the angle of accidental domestic fires and the potential impact of preventive actions, FEEDS made a more in-depth analysis: first, fires with unknown origin are usually so characterised because no inspection was carried out (for example because doing so was not requested by the insurance company). Therefore, the distribution of causes for these uninspected fires can be assumed to be the same as that of the inspected fires. Second, the figure for arson was taken out to limit the scope to accidental fires only.

Domestic Electrical Inspections Regimes In The EU (2024)

“A situation which varies strongly among Member States”

Domestic Electrical Inspections Regimes In The EU: a situation which varies strongly among Member States

Title: Domestic Electrical Inspections Regimes In The EU: a situation which varies strongly among Member States
Date: April 2022, revised edition January 2024

FEEDS analysed the general framework regarding the installation and renovation of electrical installations in dwellings in various countries. As conclusion, EU deployment of electrical inspection regimes is limited and mainly voluntary. Please help us to improve that document by providing any piece of knowledge likely to improve or correct the information.

For a quick overview, look at the following maps:

EU map of intial inspection regimes of new domestic installations

EU map of domestic electrical inspection regimes of exisiting installations

Energy Poverty and Fire Risk (2022)

“People living in energy poverty face a greater fire risk”

Energy Poverty and Fire Risk

Title: Energy Poverty and Fire Risk
Date: November 2022

Energy poverty is a multi-dimensional phenomenon, caused by a combination of low-income, high-energy expenses, and poor efficiency of housing, effecting 34 million Europeans (Energy Poverty Advisory Hub).

In the sphere of Fire Safety, there is an opinion that the people living in energy poverty face a greater fire risk and so are exposed to a double penalty.

There is very little research on this topic.

The data regarding the link between fire safety and energy poverty is in development. As a consequence, FEEDS decided to undertake research with associations working in energy poverty.

This research started in April and closed in June 2022 by mail with an online questionnaire. The report explores the answers and proposes actions that could be taken.