Planning Advisory Services
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Common Projects: Electrical

The Building Regulations set out overall criteria and requirements to ensure electrical safety. Approved Document P provides further practical guidance for undertaking this type of work. Any electrical work carried out within the home, garden, shed and storage buildings may need to comply with the requirements of the Building Regulations. The local authority building regulations department will assist with any compliance queries.

Safety standards in BS 7671 (the 'wiring regulations') which can be found on the British Standards Institute (BSI) website. These rules have been introduced to help reduce the number of deaths, injuries and fires caused by faulty installations.

The Building Regulations only set standards for electrical installation work in relation to dwellings (houses, flats etc). If the work is carried out in industrial or commercial buildings it is covered by the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is responsible for making sure that electrical installation work in these kinds of buildings is safe and if you have any queries about work in these buildings you should contact HSE.

The Building Regulations do not restrict who may carry out electrical installation work. If you want to do the work yourself you should make sure that you know what you need to do before starting any works. There are a number of reputable guides that you can use to help you.

Safety Checks

If Building Regulations are necessary, then the installation needs to be checked to ensure it is safe.

Local Authority Building Control

If the electrician (or individual) carrying out the works is not registered as a competent person under the relevant schemes then a Building Regulations application to Building Control should be made. The building control department will explain all the requisite procedures before work is commenced.

Approved Inspector Building Control

An approved inspector is a body which carries out the same functions as local authority building control. If an approved inspector is used they will explain how the system works. At the end of the work the approved inspector will grant a final notice if the work is safe and completed satisfactorily.

Competent Person Scheme

For electrical safety purposes this relates to an electrician who is registered by an organisation authorised by the Secretary of State and is able to certify that the work is completed safely. This will eliminate the need to notify Building Control. Once works are complete the electrician will arrange for you to receive a building regulations compliance certificate within 30 days of the completion of the work. Your local authority will then also be notified about the work by the electrician.

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