Part P Facts
As something we use everyday, it’s easy to take electricity for granted. If you attempt to do DIY electrics or use an unregistered electrician to carry out work in your home you could be putting your family’s lives at risk.
Each year around 12,500 house fires, 750 serious injuries and 10 deaths are caused by unsafe electrics in the home.
Electrical Safety laws
NICEIC registered electricians have already helped to improve the standard of electrical work in the UK. An electrical safety law, Part P of the Building Regulations, was introduced by the Government on 1st January 2005 with the aim of further enhancing the protection of home owners and reducing the risk of electric shock when using electricity.
The law, which applies to England and Wales aims to improve electrical safety in the home and prevent the number of accidents, which are caused by faulty electrical work. This brings electrical work in the home under statutory control along with other types of building work, such as gas installations.
The law requires an electrician registered with a government-approved scheme, such as the one operated by NICEIC, to carry out most electrical work in the home. After completion of any work your NICEIC registered electrician will issue you with an electrical safety certificate and a Compliance Certificate to confirm it meets the requirements of the Building Regulations.
You can only carry out electrical work yourself if you can inspect and test that it is safe for use. To comply with the law you must notify your local building control office before you begin any work and pay the appropriate fee for them to inspect the work.
What will happen if you don’t follow the regulations?
- You will have no certificate to prove that the work has been carried out by a registered electrician, or that the work performed has been passed as safe by your local building control.
- It may be problematic when it comes to selling your home if you cannot produce evidence that electrical work has been carried out in accordance with the Building Regulations.
- It is a criminal offence to carry out work that does not comply with building regulations, with a maximum fine of £5,000.
Your local building control may insist that you re-do the electrical work.
What electrical work does the law cover?
The requirements of Part P apply to most electrical work in your home. There are however, certain relaxations that apply for minor work.
‘Minor work’ is electrical work that does not involve the addition of a new circuit, for example adding new sockets or light switches to an existing circuit, or the replacement of sockets, light switches and ceiling roses. This work does not have to be undertaken by a registered electrician and you do not need to notify your local building control office. However, ALL electrical work must comply with BS 7671, the wiring regulations.
High risk locations
Kitchens, bathrooms and gardens are classed as ‘special locations’ because the risk of electric shock is greater. Unless you are only replacing accessories, work in a kitchen, bathroom, garden or outbuilding must either be undertaken by a registered electrician or
notified to building control.
With so many electrical appliances in your kitchen, combined with the mixture of hot surfaces and water, it is important that the electrical installation is safe. When installing a new kitchen, it is advisible you use a registered electrician or kitchen installer to do the electrical work.
External electrical installations can be particularly hazardous due to the presence of water and the extremes of weather, which can make equipment deteriorate faster.
If you are unsure, check with a registered electrician or your local building control office before starting any work.
How do I know when to notify?
The chart below provides a quick-reference guide to which type of electrical work should be notified to building control or carried out by a registered electrician.
Should I receive a certificate once the work is done?
Yes: Your NICEIC registered electrician will issue a Certificate of Compliance with national safety standards and a Building Regulations Compliance Certificate for all electrical work that has been carried out. This is a safety declaration confirming that their work complies with Part P of the Building Regulations.