According to Government statistics, each year on average 10 people die and about 750 are seriously injured in accidents involving unsafe electrical installations in the home. To help address this issue, the Construction Industry Deregulation Task Force recommended in 1995 that electrical safety requirements should be included in the Building Regulations.
Part P of the building regulations is intended to increase the safety of households by improving the design, installation, inspection and testing of electrical installations in dwellings when these installations are being newly built, extended or altered.
- A new requirement, has been added to Schedule 1 of the Building Regulations. This requirement, ‘Requirement P’ has been limited to fixed electrical installations in dwellings, with minor works not needing to be notified.
- A new Approved Document P has been published, giving guidance on ways of complying that are based on teh fundamental principles set out in Chapter 13 of BS 7671:2001.
The Approved Document Includes:
- Guidance relating to the design, installation, inspection and testing of electrical installations
- Guidance on types of electrical work that would not normally need to be notified to building control bodies
- Appendices that contain illustrations of the sorts of electrical services commonly required in homes, examples of model electrical installation certificates and illustrations of what equipment may be encountered when work is carried out on older electrical installations.
The Scope of Part P
Part P will apply to all fixed installations after the supplier’s meter in buildings or parts of buildings comprising:
- Combined dwellings and business premises having a common supply (such as shops, pubs etc)
- Common access areas in blocks of flats (but not lifts)
- Share amenities in blocks of flats (laundries, gymnasiums etc.)
- Outbuildings, including sheds, garages and greenhouses
- Garden lighting and power supplies
‘Special Installations / Locations’
What is a ‘Special installation or Location’?
- The following are classified as special installations or locations:
- Locations containing a bath tub or shower basin
- Swimming pools or paddling pools
- Hot air saunas
- Garden lighting or power installations
- Solar Photovoltaic power supply systems
- Electric floor or ceiling heating systems
- Extra-low voltage lighting installations, other than pre-assembled, CE marked lighting sets
- Small scale generators such as microCHP units
All electrical installation work in such areas (as well as in kitchens) will need to be notified, or self certified by a prescribed competent person, even if only ‘minor works’.
Minor work is electrical work not involving the addition of a new circuit, such as the addition of socket outlets or lighting points to existing circuits and the replacement of accessories.