Millions of homes have at least one electrical fault in France

‘Electrical installations age, like cars, and you need to call an electrician to check them’, the national electrical safety observatory warns

Electrical faults cause 50,000 house fires in France every year, and older houses are more at risk
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The majority of electrical installations aged 15 years or older in France have at least one fault, with faulty electrics the cause of up to 35% of house fires nationwide, a new report has said.

The Observatoire national de la sécurité électrique (ONSE) released its latest barometer on April 22.

The report concluded that “83% of electrical installations in homes over 15 years old have at least one electrical fault”.

Common faults include:

  • Faulty earthing sockets or dangerous connections to a power strip/extension lead (80%)

  • A bathroom socket that is too close to the bath (60%)

  • Risk of direct contact with live parts (60%)

  • Obsolete equipment (50%)

Florence Delettre, director general of ONSE co-founder Promotelec, said: “Electrical installations age, like cars, like any other piece of equipment, and you need to remember to look at what is going on from time to time and call in an electrician to check it.”

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Older homes that have had less work done over the years present “a greater risk”, she told FranceInfo.

The main problem with old, faulty electrical systems is the risk of fire. Around 50,000 house fires per year (20-35%) are caused by this, the ONSE said, with 61% being linked to electrical equipment.

The ONSE also stated that 3,000 people in France fall victim to electrocution, with 30 to 40 accidental deaths recorded every year from this since 2010.