The 2005 Building Regulations Part P detail the rules surrounding electrical works for domestic properties. Unsafe electrics and wiring can cause death or injury through electrocution and may also lead to devastating house fires. The regulations in place aim to reduce the risk of such accidents occurring.
Electrical work does not normally require planning permission (although listed buildings may be an exception – it is advisable to check any work with the planning office) but significant works, any installations, and any work in kitchens, bathrooms and outside are all within the scope of the regulations. There are two options: either a ‘registered competent person’ must be hired to perform the works, or an application must be made to Building Control to request that the works be checked. A competent person is someone who has written proof that they are registered on a certified scheme, such as BRE Certification Ltd, British Standards Institution, ELECSA Ltd, NICEIC Certification Services Ltd or NAPIT Certification Ltd.
Minor works do not require notification of building control or the use of a competent person, but if there is any uncertainty as to how to perform a task safely, a qualified electrician should always be consulted. Minor works include replacing socket-outlets, control switches and ceiling roses, changing a cable in a single circuit only where the old cable has been damaged (e.g. by fire, rodent or impact), re-fixing or replacing the enclosures of existing installation components and providing mechanical protection to existing fixed installations. In addition, adding lighting points or fused spurs to an existing circuit or that is not in a kitchen or special location (such as a bathroom or outdoor location) is also permitted.
Failure to comply with the Building Regulations is a criminal offence and can result in mandatory removal or alteration of work that does not comply with the requirements. For further information please visit http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/buildingregulations/approveddocuments/p…