Watch out, major changes have happened, for all Electricians and DIYer's. From the 1st January 2005 certain electrical work carried out within a domestic property will come under the Building Regulations.

Why the change?
Due to the rising number of deaths and reported injuries because of DIY electrical jobs and work carried out by Cowboy Electricians or people claiming to be Electricians, the Government is introducing Part P of the Building Regulations.

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.

What does it cover?
To keep it simple, fixed electrical installation work carried out within a place of residenceas in a House or Flat, (there is more to it than this), which includes the following work:

  • The creation of 1 or more new circuits.
  • Rewires.
  • Some Minor Works (this is work carried out on an existing circuit e.g. the addition or replacement of a socket or light fitting. (See below)
  • Electrical work carried out external to the place of residence such as in the Garden, Sheds and detached garages.

What will be exempt?
Nothing, Part P will apply to ALL fixed wiring installations regardless as to whether it is carried out by a PROFESSIONAL or by a DIYer, whether or not classed as 'Minor Works' and whether or not the work is notifiable to a building control body.


What does it mean?
ALL proposed electrical work will need to be notified to a building control body BEFORE work starts unless:

  • the work is to be carried out by a prescribed competent person (an individual or a firm) AUTHORIZED to self-certify compliance on completion of the work, or
  • the proposed work is classed as Minor Works and is not to be carried out in a kitchen or in an area classed as a special installation or location

'Minor Works' is electrical work that does not involve the addition of a new circuit but does cover the installation or replacement of accessories on an EXISTING circuit such as sockets, switches, light fittings etc.

What is a special installation or location?
The following are expected to be classed as a special installation or location:

  • solar power supplies
  • electric floor and heating systems
  • extra-low voltage lighting installations, other than pre-assembled sets
  • small scale generators
  • locations containing a bath tub or shower basin
  • swimming pools and fountains
  • hot air saunas
  • gardens

ALL electrical work in the above areas INCLUDING Kitchens will need to be notified to a building control body or certified by a prescribed competent person EVEN IF ONLY 'Minor Works'.

The certification will also cover for other relevant parts of the building regulations that have been affected by the electrical work such as Part B - fire safety, Part M - accessibility, Part L1 - energy conservation.

NICEIC and ECA members will be permitted to do self certification after registering with their individual membership bodies. This is because their work is regularly assessed that it complies with current version of BS7671 Wiring Regulations. Those electricians not members or belonging to a company that is a member of the NICEIC or ECA will have to undergo an assessment of their work prior to being able to self certify.

What happens if Part P is not complied with?
The long and short of it is that it will be classed as a Criminal Offence. If caught breaching the regulations, and successfully prosecuted, you will end up with a Criminal Record and in more serious cases possibly locked up!

Click here for PDF on the subject from the NICEIC