In an effort to simplify finding a Qualified and Registered Electricain the new Electric Safe Register has been launched.
You will know an Electrician registered on this scheme is qualified and Part P compliant and in the same way that you would only allow a Gas Safe plumber to work on a gas appliance you should ensure that your electrician is Electric Safe.
There have been significant safety improvements in the equipment that distribute the electricity around your home. Historically the protection has been against short circuit or overload faults in the form of fuse wire which in turn were first replaced with cartridge fuses (mostly for convenience) then by mechanical switches in the form of circuit breakers (MCB).
Modern consumer units (fuse boards as they used to be known) have a significant improvement in safety with the fitting of Residual Current Devices (RCD) which provide much greater protection against electric shock .
More detail from the Electrical Safety Council can be found here
In short you must be able to prove that you have taken all reasonable steps to ensure that the property you are letting is safe. The Electrical Safety Council have a very useful guide to landlords or tenants who may be concerned about the property they are renting.
Follow this link to download the guide
Part P is the section of the building regulations that covers the electrical installation. It is a legal requirement for all electrical work to meet the Building Regulations. As the homeowner or landlord you must be able to prove that any work carried out meets the regulations by having the work certificated.
Part P applies to newly-built homes and to any changes made to existing installations, including any parts that have been rewired.
To ensure that work is certificated you need to have the work done either via a qualified and registered electrician or you must go directly to the local authority who’ll use one of their qualified and registered electricians to inspect the work at regular stages that suit them, you’ll also get to pay them for the inspection.
More information about Part P and what work must be notified can be found here www.niceic.com/Uploads/File1247.pdf
The Electrical Safety Council recommends that all domestic properties have an electrical inspection carried out every 10 years. Most properties have never had an inspection carried out and most likely they were wired prior to 2005 when the Building regulations were amended with Part P to require notification of changes to the electrical installation in your home to the Building Authority. This meant that anyone, regardless of their skill or training, could carry out electrical work, leading to many potentially dangerous modifications to electrical circuits in properties. Clearly this was and still is a dangerous state of affairs.
An Electrical Condition Report will give your property a full inspection and test of the electrical installation, think of it as a service for the electrical circuits . Pretty much the only area that cannot be inspected are how the cables are run in your walls and below floors, though there are a number of tests to check their condition.
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