Part P of the Building Regulations – frequently asked questions by the consumers, ESC advice

We have recently introduced the “Part P of the Building Regulations: protecting the homeowners and reducing the risk of electric shock” – where we explain the importance of the Electrical Safety laws(and what happens if you don’t follow these laws), what are the minor electrical works one can perform, what are the high risk locations for electrical devices/accessories, whom should you notify in case of electrical hazards, and the need for certifying a work once done. Below are some of the most common questions asked by the consumers about the Part P of the Building Regulations (download the full guide here – on the ESC website or view it on Scribd) – according to the Electrical Safety Council.

Q) What is ‘Part P’?
A) This refers to Part P of the Building Regulations 2000. These are statutory requirements that apply to building work in England and Wales. Part P gives legally enforceable rules relating to electrical safety in houses and flats (referred to in the regulations as ‘dwellings’). The various other Parts of the Building Regulations give legal requirements relating to structure, fire safety etc.

Q) What work has to comply with Part P?
A) Since 1 January 2005, all electrical installation work carried in houses and flats in England and Wales must comply with the Building Regulations.

Q) Why have the new rules been introduced?
A) To help reduce the number of deaths, injuries and fires caused by faulty electrical installations and to make it harder for ‘cowboy builders’ to leave electrical installations in an unsafe condition.

Q) If I want some electrical work carried out, do I have to tell my local authority’s Building Control Department before the work starts?
A) The diagram below sets out the options for consumers.

Q) What will happen if electrical work does not comply with the Building Regulations?
A) The electrical installation might not be safe. Also:

  • the local authority may insist that you have faulty work put right
  • without the relevant electrical safety and compliance certificates, you may have difficulty in selling your home.

Q) How can I find a registered installer to carry out my electrical installation work?
A) Visit the websites of the approved scheme operators shown here, or, more conveniently, visit the Local Authority Building Control website: www.competentperson.co.uk. This has a searchable database of all Competent Persons registered with approved scheme operators.

Q) Where can I find out more about Part P?
A) Amongst other places, further details including leaflets can be found on the government website www.communities.gov.uk (more precisely – the Part P of the Building Regulations), and on the Electrical Safety Council’s website www.electricalsafetycouncil.org.uk. Also, on our website you can find out more information about the Part P of the Building Regulations.

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