Approved Document P 2013 Now in Force

Approved Document P of the Building Regulations for 2013 is available from the Planning Portal website and came into force at the beginning of April.

The document covers electrical safety in dwellings and is now in effect in England. All work which was carried out before April 6th will still fall under Approved Document P 2006, but if work was carried out after this date, is currently being carried out or is due to be, this work will fall under the new 2013 document and will need to be to this standard.

The basic difference between the previous version and the new one is as follows:

  • Electrical installation work which is notifiable is now reduced from the previous amount
  • Any installers not registered under a competent person scheme can use a registered third party to certify their work rather than contacting a building control body.
  • There is now reference to 17th Edition amendment one.

The new document was published in December last year, so those who work within Part P requirements should be, by now, familiar with the content of the new document for 2013.

For those who haven’t yet got hold of a copy and made themselves familiar with the new requirements, it is advisable to do so as some of the changes and revisions involve important changes. For example, the content of the document has now been revised and notifiable work only includes the following:

  • New circuit installations
  • Replacing a consumer unit
  • Addition and alteration of existing circuits in certain locations (special locations)

These ‘special locations’ refer to zones one and two of a bathroom or a room with a swimming pool or sauna.

The Government are aiming for consumers to see that the benefits of using registered Part P electricians will compensate for reducing the amount of notifiable work in the document.

However, it has been reported that there is a serious lack of knowledge of Part P and what it is for amongst the public. This could prove to be an issue, but there are some campaigns planned to compensate for this.

Written by Sara Thomson

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ECA’s Electric Event

The upcoming Electrical Event organised by the ECA for the 20th-22nd June at the ICC Birmingham, is said to be too important to miss according to a report published in Electrical Contracting News.

The reason this particular event seems to be so important is that the organisers have worked hard to ensure that the event focuses on business, doing business, making contacts, learning, regulation advice, finding opportunities and ensuring that electrical contractors can stay profitable in a challenging business environment.

Two interesting events set to be big business for the show are the Technology Live Workshops, which allows visitors to discuss and learn about electrical techniques and new skills, and the Meet the Suppliers Exhibition which provides the opportunity for learners to meet suppliers in person and discuss their latest technological advances.

To keep continuity and ensure that all relevant topics are covered, the workshops have been split into seven different topics including:

  • Lighting, Home automation, Digital communication and AV
  • Fire, Security and emergency systems
  • Electrical power distribution and control
  • Energy solutions
  • ECA Business services, standards and legislative updates
  • Home automation, power distribution and control

Each topic has five sessions and will run throughout the day to ensure flexibility and allow visitors have a chance to catch the session which most interests them.

Running simultaneously, the Meet the Suppliers Exhibition is said to be interactive with new product launches, technology solutions and allows visitors to discuss with suppliers their plans for the future.

However, before any of this happens a conference on the 20th will take place where discussions will cover government regulations, industry developments for the future and how new markets are of benefit to electrical industry professionals.

The whole event seems to have come about through a great deal of thought and planning into what electrical contractors are facing in the industry currently, what they would like to see and what kind of things they’d like to discover. If you haven’t already, it may be worth looking into the event and getting yourself a place.

Written by Sara Thomson

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Are you on Board with the Government’s Green Deal?

Energy efficiency and renewable energy are big business at the moment and there is increasing pressure on businesses and homeowners to think about green issues and take more care over reducing their carbon footprint.

Now, the government have put steps in place to help with this and legislation is driving energy efficiency agendas.

One of the most important government agendas to come out this year is the Green Deal, which was launched in January and aims to upgrade the millions of homes across the UK using a variety of different schemes to enable homeowners to increase their energy efficiency and save money.

The main idea of Green Deal is to allow consumers to make energy efficiency improvements to their homes without having to shell out capital up front. However, to carry out these improvements under the Green Deal banner, installers must be registered as a Green Deal Installer and any savings made from carrying out the work on a property must exceed the cost of the installation to qualify for funding.

There are a number of improvements which fall under Green Deal and qualify for funding, including:

  • Air source heat pumps
  • Insulation
  • Cylinder thermostats
  • Fan assisted storage heaters
  • Flue gas heat recovery devices
  • Gas fired condensing boilers
  • Ground source heat pumps
  • Micro combined heat and power
  • Oil fired condensing boilers
  • Solar Photovoltaics
  • Solar blinds shutters and shading devices
  • Variable speed drives for fans and pumps

This is only a selection of the many different measures which will qualify for Green Deal. Anyone getting involved with installation under this scheme will certainly find an abundance of work as the Government aims to improve energy efficiency across all UK properties.

With buildings accounting for almost 50% of the UK’s total energy consumption, it is the largest section with the largest possibilities for savings.

And with there being the specific requirement that only those registered as Green Deal Installers allowed to carry out the work, this makes ensuring you are qualified to carry out any of the above installations and then registering under Green deal, an attractive opportunity.

Written by Sara Thomson

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Heavy Promotion for Electrical Safety Register

The Electrical Safety Register is a collaborative scheme by the Electrical Safety Council (ESC) and the Electrical Contractors Association (ECA) which holds details of over 36,000 NICEIC, Elecsa and ECA registered members.

The register was created to hold, in one easy access place, registered electrical contractors to make it simple and straight forward for consumers to find registered and competent electrical professionals to carry out work for them.

Those people already registered with the above companies were automatically put onto the new Electrical Safety Register when it was launched.

Now that the register is up and running, publicity campaigns have been taking place to promote the register to the public and recent reports reveal that campaigns have reached more that 32 million people.

As part of the campaign, Phil Buckle from ESC and Tony Cable from ECA both appeared on BBC Breakfast News to discuss electrical safety in homes and to highlight the dangers people risk by carrying out DIY electrics, and how important it is to have electrical work carried out by qualified electrical contractors listed on the Electrical Safety Register.

Alongside this campaigning, there was a series of local radio appearances which also re-iterated the importance of the register and using qualified electrical contractors.

ECA’s Steve Bratt said:

“The Electrical Safety Register is a huge step forward in making it easier for homeowners and clients to understand what our brands mean and will greatly help them in their search for a certified local electrical contractor.”

The aim for the register is for it to become a definitive and trusted guide for the public and to ensure they always use registered and competent electrical workers.

Written by Sara Thomson

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How NAPIT are Tackling Non Compliant Public

Research has reported that one in ten homes in the UK could be breaching current Building Regulations.

A major UK insurer carried out the research and found worrying levels of noncompliance over the last five years along with a significant lack of awareness amongst homeowners.

Any work breaching the Building Regulations is illegal and noncompliance with these regulations can result in a hefty fine for the homeowner. Also, a lack of awareness of dangerous electrical work could be putting these homeowners at serious health risks.

At the moment, unsafe electrical work in homes accounts for 12,500 house fires and 750 serious injuries. Also, the other concern with noncompliant electrical work is that homeowners could face fines of up to £5000 and the expense of having to put work right.

Now however, with the introduction of registers such as ElectricSafe from NAPIT, homeowners should start to become more aware of electrical safety and be able to simply search for registered electricians to carry out work for them.

The advantage of this new system is that all those registered are regularly assessed to ensure they are up to the safety standards required and are competent in their job.

This means that the public now have a way of making certain that any electrician they employ is able to correctly carry out the work and it also means that electricians themselves have a way of proving they are genuine reputable contractors.

Amongst other things it is hoped that the register will decrease the amount of rogue electricians which give the professionals a bad name.

And with the continued promotion of the register by NAPIT, the public themselves will not be able to use ignorance as an excuse for dangerous and non-compliant work.

Are you on the register yet?

Written by Sara Thomson

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Results from the ESC Summit

The recent ESC Summit which took place in Westminster saw the coming together of key industry people to discuss safety and the changes taking place in the electrical industry.

Focusing on the recent changes to Part P, the review of the Building Regulations and the Green Deal, the event covered a significant number of relevant topics.

The event began with Don Foster MP, Minister of State for Communities and Local Government, discussing Part P. Once the opening concluded a panel discussion and audience question and answer session followed with questions from the audience prompting the Minster to acknowledge concerns over the reduction of notifiable work and third party certification. He also discussed the need to for consumer awareness to be approached collaboratively and the encouragement of the use registered electricians.

Presentations throughout the day were given by various industry sectors including Carillion’s Philip Arend on their Green Deal partnership with Birmingham City Council, Jacqui Russell on the roll out of Smart Meters and Mike Clark, ESC’s Technical Director, on electrical safety issues following smart meter implementation.

ESC has said that working with the industry is the best way to ensure consumer protection especially when changes are occurring as is the case at the moment.

Written by Sara Thomson

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Safe Electrical Working Procedure

It’s common knowledge that working in and around building sites and places of construction and refurbishment are high risk places for potential hazards and dangers.

To combat these potential dangers there are a number of guidelines and regulations set out in order to ensure the safety of those working in these environments.

However, despite this serious electrical accidents continue to take place resulting in electric shock and burns.

Employers and employees and their safety responsibilities fall under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, whilst the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 require precautions to be taken to prevent the risk of injury from electricity whist carrying out work tasks.

Employers are therefore responsible for ensuring that any employees working near electricity can work safely and are given the correct tools to be able to do so. Employees are required to be cooperative in order to ensure that these regulations can be met.

HSE (Health and Safety Executive) regularly publish guidance on safe working practice and in particular, the guidance publication titled “Electricity at Work – Safe Working Practices” sets out information on live and dead working and also on isolation procedures when working in low and high voltage situations.

It has been reported that many of the electrical accidents which take place are directly due to electricians not implementing safe isolating procedures on low voltage systems.

Written by Sara Thomson

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Blasé Attitude to Electrical Product Recalls

Recent reports from the Electrical Safety Council have revealed that there could be millions of potentially dangerous products in circulation with consumers seemingly indifferent to the dangers posed to their safety.

Products which have been recalled by manufacturers are showing a very low response rate from consumers, proving that consumers aren’t taking the danger these products pose seriously enough.

ESC has launched an online tool to help consumers quickly and easily check the safety of their electrical products and to ensure that they aren’t inadvertently using unsafe products. However, there are still millions of recalled electrical products being used regularly in homes across the country and in some cases the consumers are aware of the recall but are indifferent to the potential dangers.

Most products have been recalled due to the risk they pose of electrocution or fire. However, reports say that two million people have ignored these recall notices purposefully, one third of people won’t return a recalled item as it’s inconvenient and one fifth refuse to do without luxury items such as televisions and hair straighteners.

In conclusion, this blasé attitude means that there are an endless amount of dangerous electrical items in people’s homes which could cause serious injury at any point.

ESC’s research into the matter revealed that consumers are grossly underestimating the potential danger to themselves and their homes. This underestimation contrasts starkly with reality as recalled items have been known to cause severe injury and death.

These results also highlight continuing concern that the public don’t take the dangers electricity can pose seriously enough and often don’t think about the serious danger they could be risking.

Written by Sara Thomson

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Consumers want Qualified Tradesmen

TrustMark has reported that they have received the highest number of people looking for tradesmen on their website.

They say that figures were at 3.9 million searches for local tradesmen in 2012 by consumers wanting work carried out in their homes. This figure is an increase of 20% from the previous year across all trades, with those searching for Electricians increasing by 28% when compared with the previous year in the same month.

Following Electricians was Heating Engineers, Plumbers and Glaziers, however these figures are due to urgent work being needed in bad weather conditions during winter months.

Stuart Carter, from TrustMark, said they were exceptionally pleased with the figures, when considering the economy hasn’t been in good shape, as it means that people are continuing to want professional tradesmen to carry out work in their homes.

The number of tradesmen registered with TrustMark has increased yearly and their partnership with organisations such as Citizens Advice, Trading Standards Institute and the National Home Improvement Council has meant that TrustMark has become a standard of quality which consumers recognise.

Written by Sara Thomson

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Free Event: Untangling the IET Code of Practice Confusion

It’s no secret that the IET have recently made changes to their Code of Practice. However, it has caused a degree of confusion as to what these new changes mean.

So to combat this uncertainty, PASS and Megger have organised a free road-show event in March and April which will help alleviate some of the issues and confusion surrounding the revisions to the IET Code of Practice.

Experts from Megger will be on hand to take those attending through the changes and to answer questions of any kind regarding the Code of Practice and the new revisions.

The event will help challenge the difficulties people are facing regarding these amendments, will allow a better understanding of responsibility and how these revisions affect everyone.

If you feel this event will benefit you, come along to the Stockton Training centre on Friday 22nd March or Thursday 11th April. Both begin at 9.00am and are sure to be successful.

We will see you there!

Find us at:

1 Alberto Street
Stockton on Tees
TS18 2BQ

Written by Sara Thomson

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