New Electrical Regulations
New wiring regulations were announced earlier this month by the IET (Institution of Engineering and Technology) but what does this means for you and your business and how can you make sure that your electrics are safe and compliant?
Why have the rules changed?
The rules have changed to make electrical installations safer and more robust and are the result of international and European updates – which the UK has a duty to follow.
The regulations (BS7671:2018) don’t come into effect until 1 January 2019 so electricians and businesses have some time to let the changes sink in.
As well as improving electrical safety, the updates address the need to keep up with modern technology – such as with electric car charging They also ensure that the standards the industry follow, are fit for purpose.
How will the changes affect me and my business?
The changes simply mean that businesses will need to ensure that any new works carried out after 31 December 2018, meet the revised rules – this includes changes in electrical wiring to existing buildings and offices. Some of the big updates that are likely to affect you include:
- Protection against electric shock – nobody wants this to happen so rules about insulation, sockets, and switches have been updated to make sure the risk is minimal to both electrician and client.
- Protection against ‘thermal effects’ – in other words, this aims to further reduce the risk of fire by adding fault detection equipment.
- Protection against ‘voltage and electromagnetic disturbances’ – aimed at lowering the consequences of thunderstorms and lightning on homes and business, such as power cuts.
- Selection and erection of wiring systems – this is one of the most important changes that the IET have announced and means that all wiring installed needs to be robust enough to survive the early stages of fire.
- Electrical installations in caravan and camping parks – this also applies to similar leisure parks and improves the safety and durability of sockets and RCD outlets (such as wall box charging for electric vehicles).
- Onshore units of electrical shore connections for inland navigation vessels – in basic terms this increases the resilience of electrical sockets and connections at marinas and ports.
- Floor and ceiling heating systems – this is an update of a previous rule about installation and compliance which now includes underfloor and ceiling heating (used for things like de-icing and frost prevention).
How can I make sure my home and business are safe?
Many of us like to have a go at DIY, but some things really should be left to the professionals – which is why staying safe and within the law means using a qualified electrician when it comes to anything vaguely electrical.
We don’t need to spell it out – but using anyone unqualified can result in serious injury and even death. Electrical installations need to be thoughtfully and carefully planned bearing mind the layout of the property and the type of materials used. Even if you think something looks ok and functions, unprofessional electrical work has a habit of making itself known – often with dire consequences.
So, do your home and your business a favour and always make sure that you use a qualified and trained electrician. As a tight-knit, family run business, we understand the importance of keeping loved ones and colleagues safe – to have a chat about any concerns or for a quote on any new installations you’re preparing for – give us a call on 07976 685746, or drop us an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org