If you are planning to extend or alter
the electrical installation in your home, such as providing extra
sockets in the kitchen, or adding new ceilings lights, don't attempt the
installation yourself. Ensure you employ a competent electrician. The
Government introduced a new law in January 2005, which demands that most
electrical work in UK households is only carried out by a ‘competent'
person and much of this work must be notified to Building control.
What is the electrical safety law?
requirements have been included in a new Part P of the Building
Regulations. The Building Regulations deal with the health and safety of
people in and around buildings by providing functional requirements for
building design and construction.
The law states that anyone
carrying out fixed electrical installations in households in England and
Wales must ensure that electrical installations are:
Designed and installed to
afford appropriate protection against mechanical and thermal damage, and
so that they do not present electric shock and fire hazards to people.
Suitably inspected and tested to verify that they meet the relevant
equipment and installation standards.
What is a fixed electrical installation?
Many improvements carried out in the home include some form of fixed
electrical installation. For example, a new kitchen may require your
electrician to install additional sockets, extra lighting and
appliances. A fixed installation is the wiring and appliances that are
fixed to the building, such as sockets, switches, consumer units (fuse
boxes) and ceiling fittings.
Who is responsible for ensuring that the electrical
work carried out in my home meets safety requirements?
You are. It will be a legal requirement for homeowners and landlords to
be able to prove that all fixed electrical installations and alteration
work have been carried out and certified by a competent person. That is,
by an electrician registered with a Government approved body such as the
How will I benefit from the electrical safety law?
You can expect to have safer, better quality electrical installation
work because all electrical contractors will be working to BS 7671, the
national safety standard. You will also be further protected against
unsafe work as all electrical contractors are now required to offer
their customers the option of additional protection through an
insurance-backed warranty. Furthermore, if you use an NICEIC electrical
contractor, you will benefit from the Complaints Resolution scheme.
The NICEIC carries out regular assessments of its registered
electrical contractors to ensure that they are and continue to be
‘competent' to carry out electrical installations.