Legislation

On January 1 st 2005, new Part P Building Regulations were enforced in England and Wales to 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. Part P 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.

The risks posed by unsafe electrical installations and portable appliances are electric shock, burns and other injuries arising from fires in buildings ignited by electrical components overheating or building up dangerous currents causing 'arcing'. Installations that are properly designed, fitted, tested and commissioned in accordance with British Standard BS 7671 (a requirement of Part P) will help minimize these risks.

From 1 January 2005, people carrying out electrical work in homes and gardens in England and Wales will have to follow the new rules in the Building Regulations.

Part P is being considered for Northern Ireland and Scotland in 2006.