Part P Building Regs

New Part P Building Regulations for Electrical Safety in the Home

Part P – What’s it all about?
When did the new rules start and why?

On January 1st 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.

How to meet the new rules:

If the work is going to be carried out by yourself or a friend, you don’t need to tell your local authority’s Building Control Department about repairs, replacements and maintenance work; or extra power points or lighting points or other alterations to existing circuits (except in a kitchen or bathroom, outdoors or specialist locations).

However you do need to tell your local authority’s Building Control Department about most other work before you start.

If you are not sure about this, or you have any questions, ask your local authority's Building Control Department.

If the work is going to be carried out by a contractor or installer, you don’t need to tell your local authority’s Building Control Department about repairs, replacements and maintenance work; or extra power points or lighting points or other alterations to existing circuits (except in a kitchen or bathroom, outdoors or specialist locations).

However you do need to tell your local authority’s Building Control Department about most other work. If the contractor or installer is registered with a competent person scheme, you should tell your local authority’s Building Control Department before they start the work. However if they are registered, the contractor or installer will look after all the building regulations for you. You do not need to contact your local authority’s Building Control Department.