When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Electrical and furniture safety

The furnishings and appliances which you supply as part of a tenancy must comply with minimum safety standards.

Electrical safety

Any electrical equipment provided by you in a rental property must comply with The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 and The Plugs And Sockets (Safety) Regulations 1994.

The Regulations apply to any person who supplies electrical equipment in the course of a business. All mains electrical equipment, new or second-hand supplied with the accommodation must be safe. If it complies with, and continues to comply with a currently acceptable standard, e.g. a British / European Standard, then it will normally meet the safety requirements.

You should keep the maintenance and operation manuals for any appliances you provide and ask the tenants to store these carefully. Keep a copy in your own tenancy information pack.

Electrical appliances must be correctly fitted with an approved plug with sleeved pins. All plugs should carry the name and reference number of the approved body, normally BSI or ASTA. The plug does not have to be moulded on but it must have the correct fuse for the appliance.

These Regulations do not apply to the fixed electrical and lighting circuits.

Furniture safety

If you are providing furnished accommodation you must ensure that all furniture provided complies with the minimum safety standards.

All furniture supplied must comply with The Furniture and Furnishings Fire Safety Regulations 1988. These Regulations were introduced to reduce the number of people killed and injured by toxic fumes given off when upholstery material burns.

From 1st March 1993 upholstered furniture included in rented accommodation must meet the same stringent fire resistant requirements as apply to new and second hand furniture in shops.

These Regulations apply to:

  • Upholstered furniture including settees, armchairs and scatter cushions.
  • Beds
  • Headboards

Antique furniture made before 1st January 1950, bedclothes, carpets, curtains and pillowcases are excluded from these controls.