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Sometimes doing electrical work yourself can seem like a good idea. However, most of the time it’s not that simple. There are many regulations and dangers you should be aware of before taking up any electrical repairs. For example, do you know what kind of electrical work you’re allowed to do by yourself?
Then read on!
Sure, you know how to change a lightbulb, but most electrical work is not so easy. And if you’re careless, you might end up endangering your life. So, here, we will shed some light on what electrical work is okay to be handled by an untrained individual and which one should be better left to the professionals.
Every homeowner would, first, try to fix a property problem themselves or ask their spouse or partner to do it instead. Anytime you decide to do any electrical work, be sure to follow these basic safety instructions.
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In the UK, Part P Building regulations provide guidance on electrical safety. According to these instructions, the electrical work you do in your home must meet the regulations for your own safety and the safety of anyone who enters your home. If a guest is electrocuted as a result of any electrical work you’ve done, which wasn’t compliant with these regulations, you can be prosecuted.
In order to decide whether you need a certified professional to handle the electrical work, think about whether the work is covered by the Building Regulations. They mostly focus on partial and full rewires. These need to be signed off by your local authority and given to a certified electrician. Some work that is non-notifiable you can perform yourself. However, other tasks, even if they are non-notifiable, still need to be carried out by a certified professional.
According to the Approved Document P, the following work is notifiable and needs to be done by a certified electrician:
A special location is your bathroom, or any area in close proximity to a bath or shower, as well as a room containing a swimming pool or sauna heater.
All other work is non-notifiable, meaning you won’t need to give a building notice or deposit full plans. Minor tasks such as changing a socket cover or changing a lightbulb are something you can do by yourself; however, these tasks might still require a form of acknowledgement from a building supervisor; with regards to materials usage and necessity of the task. Any other completed tasks need to be inspected and tested by a registered competent person or a building control body.
Only trained and experienced personnel are allowed to make alterations. It is vital to leave any adjustments or repairs to a professional electrician that can certify the work done.
Electricity kills a lot of people in the UK each year and most accidents occur because the victims believed they could fix an electrical problem themselves without having the necessary knowledge and skills. Approved Document P states that any electrical installations must be carried out by a competent electrician with knowledge of electrical installations.
As a homeowner or landlord, it’s your duty to ensure the safety of your household or tenants. Abiding by Approved Document P means that these regulations have been met inside the house, garden, conservatories, garden sheds and any other part of your property. Or in other words, the installation job has been completed by a certified electrician.
If not, the local authority can enforce that the results of your electrical work are removed. If you don’t follow the document regulations and an electrical fault causes damage to your property, your house insurance will become invalid. If it endangers human life, you can be sued.
When you hire a professional electrician, they will ensure that the job is done according to the UK national standard, BS 7671. After that, the specialist will give you an Electrical Installation Certificate or Minor Work Certificate, depending on the job. Along with that, you will also receive a Building Regulations Compliance Certificate that would confirm the work meets the building regulations.
There are regular changes and updates done to Approved Document P and if you’re going to start any electrical work, your first job would be to check. In theory, most electrical work in a property needs a professional electrician.
Electrical failures should not be taken lightly. If you’re unsure that you can handle an electrical repair or installation job yourself, Fantastic Services advises not to risk it. Call a professional electrician and wait patiently!
Disclaimer: Every piece of information here is meant for informational and educational purposes only. So please, do not use this as a definitive legal advice. Fantastic Services encourages you to seek authority professional counsel before you decide to act upon what you have read. For more information, check our disclaimer.
Did you find this article useful? Do you have any further questions? Let us know in the comments!
Image source: Dmitry Kalinovsky/shutterstock.com
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