How does Part ‘P’ affect me, the Homeowner?
It’s all to easy to take electricity for granted and it goes without saying most households would be lost without it, however we should never forget just how dangerous it can be. Around 13,000 house fires, 760 serious injuries and 12 deaths are caused each year by unsafe electrics in the home. By carrying out electrical work yourself you will not only be breaking the law, you will also be putting the lives of you and your family at risk. This is why Part P exists.
What is Part P?
Since 2005, an electrical safety law, Part P of the Building Regulations, has been in place. Part P was introduced to enhance the protection of homeowners and reduce the number of accidents caused by unsafe electrics.
The law requires most electrical work to be carried out by an electrician registered with a government approved scheme. Upon completion of the work a registered electrician will provide you with an electrical safety certificate and a Compliance Certificate, this acts as your guarantee that the work meets the requirements of the Building Regulations.
So, do I need an electrician to carry out all electrical work?
No, not all work. Some work known officially as “minor work” can be undertaken yourself. “Minor work” is electrical work that doesn’t require the addition of a new circuit, examples of this include replacing sockets or replacing existing light switches and ceiling roses.
What work must be undertaken by a registered electrician?
Any work that involves running a new circuit or any electrical installations in kitchens, bathrooms and gardens must be undertaken by a registered electrician. This is because these areas are classed as “special locations” as the risk of electric shock is much greater.
Work in other areas that must be undertaken by a registered electrician includes, but is not limited to:
ï€ A complete new installation or rewiring
ï€ Installing a new circuit
ï€ Installing a storage heater
ï€ Installing a generator
ï€ Installing underfloor heating
ï€ Replacing a fuse board
If you are unsure, check with a registered electrician or your local building control office before starting any work.
What will happen I don’t comply with Part P?
Failure to comply with Part P is a criminal offence. By failing to comply you won’t have a certificate to prove that your electrical work has been carried out by a registered electrician or that the work has been passed as safe. Because of this it could also make it difficult to sell your character in the future as you won’t be able to produce evidence that the electrical work has been carried out in accordance with Building Regulations.
Not only this you could also confront a fine of up to £5,000 and could be forced by the local authority to pay to have the faulty work removed or put right.