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Rules for electrical safety in the home(read this before starting any electrical work)

  2010-02-25         admin         Safety » Electrical Safety
Although we are not electricians(yet we deal with a lot of electrical stuff + also with a lot of electricians), there are some general rules and regulations that we feel we should let everyone know about(just like the advice regarding the NICEIC approved electricians). We do this especially since we sell a lot of Electrical Items, Switches and Sockets, Light fittings, Dimming Systems, Fire and Smoke Alarms, and Heating & Ventilation solutions - and many times people want to install by themselves the devices they purchase via SparksDirect.co.uk. Many electrical jobs in the home – from alteration work in kitchens and bathrooms to completely rewiring your house – must now be approved by your local council, unless they are carried out by a registered installer. We all need to read this before we start any electrical work in our home. Found online via the planning-portal.gov.uk and the NICEIC website, here are some of the General Rules for Electrical Safety in the Home:

Why are there rules for electrical safety in the home?

  • These rules exist in order to reduce the number of deaths, injuries and fires caused by faulty electrical installations.
  • Also, the rules make it harder for ‘cowboy builders’ to leave electrical installations in an unsafe condition.

What should I do if I want to do some electrical work?

  • See the flow chart below to check if you need to tell your Local Authority’s Building Control Department before you start the work.

What will happen if I do not follow the Building Regulations?

  • The electrical installation you're working on might not be safe.
  • You will have no record of the work done.
  • If any work that has been carried out is found to be faulty, your local authority’s Building Control Department may insist you put it right.

Where can I get more information?

  • From your local authority’s Building Control Department.
  • Read the Free Explanatory Booklet on the Building Regulations.
  • Use a registered installer within a Competent Person Scheme.
  • Also, the ‘Approved Document P’ explains how to meet the new rules. You can download this free of charge from here.

A. You DO NOT need to tell your local authority’s Building Control Department about:

  • Any repairs, replacements and maintenance work.
  • The extra power points or lighting points, or other alterations to existing circuits (except in a kitchen, bathroom, or outdoors).
  • If you are not sure about this, or you have any questions, ask your local authority’s Building Control Department.
  • All work, whether you need to tell your local authority about it or not, must be done to the standards in the IEE ‘wiring regulations’.

B. Why should I use an installer who is registered with a Competent Person Scheme?

  • They are qualified to carry out electrical work in accordance with the electrical safety rules and on completion they will issue you with a certificate of compliance.
  • They will also deal with all Building Control issues for you.
  • You will have access to insurance backed warranties and a robust complaints procedure to cover faulty electrical work.
  • Some registered installers are also members of the TrustMark scheme, which gives additional protection.

C. How can I find a registered installer in my area or check that an installer is registered?

  • Visit www.competentperson.co.uk and enter your area or the name of the installer in the relevant search box. Or, contact the operators of the Competent Person Scheme directly - see the details posted below.
Authorised competent person self-certification schemes for installers who can do all electrical installation work: Authorised competent person self-certification schemes for installers who can do electrical work only if it is necessary when they are carrying out other work: