January 2006 the Government introduced a new
law which requires that most electrical work in UK households
is only carried out by a 'competent' person. One of the reasons
for this was the increasing use and range of electrical equipment
and appliances in our homes. This had led to an increased
risk of electric shock and fires caused by faulty electrical
to Government statistics, every year 5 deaths and over 500
injuries are caused by faulty electrical installations in
the home. Added to this, 12,500 fires caused by electrical
faults, resulting in 25 deaths and 590 injuries every year,
so it is not difficult to see why an electrical safety law
needs to be enforced.
carries out ongoing assessments of its registered electrical
contractors to ensure that they are and continue to be 'competent'
to carry out electrical installations. These are some of the
common questions and answers in relation to these new changes.
is the electrical safety law?
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
is responsible for ensuring that the electrical work carried
out in my home meets safety requirements?
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 NICEIC.
is Part P?
P is a new part of the Building Regulations which has been
introduced by government and affects all electrical work carried
out in dwellings. People carrying out electrical work in homes
and gardens in England and Wales should follow the rules set
out in Part P of the Building Regulations to ensure that they
are complying with the law. These rules are designed to ensure
that electrical work is safe.
is a Competent Person?
'Competent Person' is a firm that has been approved by one
of the government-approved Part P schemes as sufficiently
competent to self-certify that its work complies with the
a firm wishes to become a Competent Person it must first be
vetted to ensure it meets the conditions of registration,
including the required levels of competence. The minimum standard
of technical competence required is as follows:
work in dwellings is designed, installed, inspected and
tested to the standard required by BS 7671
for a Part P Competent Person Scheme are assessed to be
able to work to these standards
you decide against using a registered firm to carry out any
work for you, bear in mind the following points:
is no guarantee that the electrical installation is safe
You will have no official record of the work you've had
may have difficulty selling your home if you do not have
the right electrical safety certificates
local authority's Building Control Department may insist
that you put right any faulty work