Part P Electrical Regulations Explained: How to Ensure Compliance

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  Posted by: electime      11th November 2019

What’s Part P?

Well, all electrical work carried out either professionally or by a DIY-er has to comply with the 2010-Building Regulations.

The purpose of Part P is to ensure all dwellings are safe from electrical hazards. It states:

“Reasonable provision shall be made in the design and installation of electrical installations to protect persons operating, maintaining, or altering the installations from fire or injury.”

This applies to new dwellings and any alterations to existing houses. This includes partial and full rewires.

This legislation intends to raise standards in electrical installations. This helps to ensure the safety of both property owners and tenants.

Ensuring electrical works are carried out by registered installers who comply with Part P, goes a long way in maintaining a higher standard of electrical work.

Taking Responsibility

By law, the onus falls upon the homeowner or landlord of the property. They must prove that their electrical works fall within Part P electrical regulations. It’s a criminal offense if they cannot do this.

It means local authorities have the power to remove any electrical works that don’t abide by the regulations. As such, prosecutions can be carried out in the Magistrates’ Courts.

Do All Electrical Works Fall Within Part P?

You must notify your local building control body if you’re doing any of the following work:

  • Replacing a fuse box
  • Changing or adding to an existing circuit in a room that has a bath, shower, sauna heater, or a swimming pool. This applies if it’s low voltage (230V) or extra-low voltage
  • Installing a new circuit, including low or extra-low voltage
  • Altering or adding to an existing circuit in a room containing a sauna, heater, or a swimming pool

What about the use of generators? Click here for more info on that.

What Should Homeowners Ask Their Electrical Contractor?

If a homeowner is aware of the work they’re going to do is notifiable, they’ll have to employ an electrician. They need to be registered with a government-approved registered body.

For example:

  • Elecsa

It’s also wise to notify your local building control authority before work begins.

Non-registered electrical workers can be employed. But, only if they’ve appointed a registered third-party certifier to inspect and test the work. Inspections need to be carried out both during and after it’s done.

What You Can Explain to Homeowners

If you’re a homeowner needing electrical works doing, there are tons of advantages to using a registered electrician.

To be Part P compliant, a registered electrician will ensure their work meets the UK national standard, BS 7671 (Requirements for Electrical Installations).

Plus, when you employ a registered electrician, you won’t have to deal with the building control authorities directly.

When the work’s done, a registered electrician will give their client an Electrical Installation Certificate or a Minor Electrical Installation Works Certificate. This document confirms the work meets BS 7671.

A separate Building Regulations Compliance Certificate is issued. Unsurprisingly, this confirms the work meets building regulations.

Some homeowners may well take out an insurance-backed guarantee, and if the work is not to the above standard, a homeowner may make a claim and make a formal complaint against you.

Explaining to a customer that you and your company are registered and compliant and the reasons why that is important can go a long way towards ensuring their work will be carried out safely.

Why It’s Important to be Compliant

Freedom of Information research carried out by the Electrical Safety Roundtable (ESR) found that a shocking 72% of local authorities had not taken any action against Part P non-compliance.

As many as  90% “of installers believed that customers were willing to breach Building Regulations to save money.”

Can you believe that?

The ESR has since campaigned for householders to be more aware of their responsibilities. However, it is equally vital for electrical installers to educate their potential customers in the risks involved in non-compliance with Part P.

While most electrical installers are compliant, the lack of prosecutions of those who are not mean there is little or no deterrent for those willing to break the rules.

How Can Electrical Installers Help Ensure Compliance?

According to ESR research, 90% of installers believed:
“Stricter enforcement of Building Regulations would be beneficial to their business.”

Bearing that in mind, responsible electricians could work together and lobby their trade bodies. They could call upon the government to tighten controls to enforce Part B Electrical Regulations better.

Building organizations with good relationships with local authorities could pressure them to prosecute offenders. They could even publicize such prosecutions to highlight the importance of Part P.

This would work wonders for ensuring all electrical contractors are registered and compliant.

Stay Connected

Now that you’ve had Part P electrical regulations explained, put it in action to ensure the safety of your projects. If you found this interesting, read some of the back issues of our magazine to enjoy similar content.