Thursday, 1 September 2011

Part P: Helping to spread the word!

We often receive calls asking us to provide a homeowner with a certificate for electrical installation work that has been completed by another electrician. It’s usually because the electrician they have employed to do the work or one that there builder has brought in, has failed to mention that firstly they require a certificate and secondly that they were not Part P registered in the first place.

Part P of the Building Regulations was introduced to stop this type of thing from happening, unfortunately due to the lack of investment from the government only a small percentage of homeowners have heard of Part P.

Now you may be thinking what is the problem with asking another electrician to provide an electrical certificate to solve the problem? Well the problem is no electrician should certify another electrician’s work as they would have no idea how good that install was, if the electrician was qualified to do the work and if it’s even safe to use. Part P is mainly concerned with the quality of the installation and most of the evidence to show that the installation is correct will be hidden within ceilings and floor voids.

Fulcher Edwards Ltd along with many other registered electrical services companies are doing there bit to help the Electrical Safety Council in spreading the word of Part P. We thought we would do a quick Q&A below to at least get you started on understanding What Part P is all about.

Q. What is Part P exactly?

Part P is the rules set out in the Building Regulations for carrying out electrical installation work in homes and gardens in England and Wales.

Q. How long has Part P been part of the Building Regulations?

In 2005 the Government introduced electrical safety rules into the Building Regulations for England and Wales. This meant that most fixed electrical installation work carried out in homes, must by Law meet the Building Regulations.

Q. Why was Part P introduced?

Part P was introduced to protect the homeowner by reducing the number of deaths, injuries and fires caused by faulty electrical installations. It was also introduced to make life harder for 'cowboys' who leave electrical installations in an unsafe condition.

Q. What does Part P state in the Building Regs?

Part P states that anyone carrying out electrical installation work in a home must make sure that the work is designed and installed to protect people from fire and electrical shocks.

Q. When does Part P apply?

Part P applies to any electrical installation work in the home, garden, conservatory or outbuilding and includes newly-built homes. It also applies to changes made to existing installations, including any parts that have been rewired.

Q. What do I need to do if I need a Part P Certificate?

You have two options;

1)Speak to someone in the Building Control Department of your local Authority before starting any installation works or

2)Employ an electrician is that registered with one of the with one of the Government-approved Part P schemes such as NICEIC, ELECSA or NAPIT

Q. Why does the electrician need to be registered?

If you use a registered electrician then you can expect a safe electrical installation and one that complies with the latest edition of the UK national standard BS7671 requirement.

Q. Who is responsible for making sure electrical work meets the requirements of Part P?

Homeowners and Landlords must be able to prove that all electrical installation work meets the requirements of Part P or they are committing a criminal offence.

Q. How can I prove I my work meets Part P requirements?

When the work has been completed by a registered electrician then you will be issued with an Electrical Installation Certificate or a Minor Works Certificate. You will also receive a Building Regulations Compliance Certificate which will be sent by your local Authorities.

To find out more information regarding Part P take a look at the Communities and Local Government website here and by reading the Electrical Safety Council’s useful leaflet here.