East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service logo
East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service logo

Information about electrical intake safety

Following a fatal fire in East Sussex in May 2009 which occurred in an electrical intake located in an under stair cupboard, East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service undertook an extensive investigation into the matter which eventually culminated in a report “ Fires Originating in Electrical Intakes July 2010”.

Following the release of this report, a number of meetings with the electrical industry took place in order to further discuss the problem and to identify reasonably practical solutions.

This work was supported by the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) andElectrical Safety First.

Following a similar subsequent death in Hampshire, a Coroners Rule 43 letter was produced which required a number of industry stakeholders to report on actions that were being taken to address this issue.

In 2012 a High Court case was taken against a number distribution network operators to claim for losses incurred following a number of large fires attributed to electrical intake equipment;


At the time of writing, work is actively being progressed to deal with the issue and some initial outcomes have been:

Fire services giving advice during home safety visits not to store combustible items near to intake equipment.

Warning labels are being fitted by fire services and the electrical industry to warn of the dangers of combustible materials located in close proximity to electrical intake equipment.

One distribution network operator has taken a decision not to locate electrical intake equipment in the means of escape from a property (under stairs cupboards & other escape routes).

Work is being undertaken to better manage intake equipment.

The design of terminal connectors is being reviewed.

Installation practices and safety checks have been reviewed and amended.

CFOA Electrical Safety Firstand East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service will continue to engage with the electrical industry and look forward to achieving a reduction in the occurrence of these fires and the resulting property damage, injury and death that can occur.

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Finally, as with all cases shown on this “Black Museum” we would very much welcome hearing your stories and views on this and other causes of fire exhibited on the site as we are aware the majority are un-reported to Fire Services.
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