Homing in on surge protection

On the back of a 20-year partnership, Hager and Taylor Wimpey, one of the UK’s largest housebuilding companies, are working together to ensure safety remains the number one priority for the owners of the developers’ newly built homes following recent electrical industry regulation changes.

As a result of the introduction of the 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations, all new Taylor Wimpey homes, where construction was started after January 2019, will benefit from an ‘as standard’ installation of a surge protection device within the property’s consumer unit as an extra safety precaution.

The new 18th Edition regulations state that all new build properties should have surge protection unless a risk assessment is carried out by electrical contractors to look at the likelihood of lightning strikes and other geographical factors that could result in short, disruptive and excessive voltage levels. The risk of such occurances can adversely affect properties and their contents such as electrical devices like laptops, and TVs.

From this assessment, electrical contractors can decide if the consumer unit installation warrants the cost of including a surge protection device to help protect potentially expensive household technology items from damage due to an unpredictable spike in voltage.

However, committed to the highest levels of customer service, Taylor Wimpey has taken the strategic decision to phase in the roll out of consumer units prefitted with a surge protection device across its new build developments going forward.

As well as offering complete peace-of-mind for the new property homeowner, by specifying Hager’s Design 30 consumer units, electrical contractors can benefit from a straightforward and fast on-site installation process as the surge protection devices come pre-wired. This helps to keep the construction programme on schedule and allows purchasers to take ownership of their new homes without any undue delay.

Ian Smith, Marketing Manager at Hager, says, “The introduction of the 18th Edition regulations mean many in the electrical industry supply chain have had to reassess their specification and installation processes to comply. Surge protection was an area of major change, especially with the onus on contractors to carry out a risk assessment before the installation of a consumer unit.

“While this could lead to potential confusion among the market, Taylor Wimpey, as a responsible developer, has taken the decision to ensure all its new homes offer increased electrical protection. The company’s judgement to install the Hager Design 30 consumer units with factory pre-wired surge protection on a blanket basis, means it has removed any doubt about the best course of action.

“The impact of the 18th Edition changes can be seen by the fact that production of Hager’s surge protection-ready Design 30 consumer units has increased ten-fold, as the electrical industry gets to grips with the new regulatory landscape.”

A spokesperson for Taylor Wimpey comments, “By taking the strategic decision to install 18th Edition-ready consumer units into all of our new build homes where initial construction has started after January 2019, we are able to assure our new homeowners that their property and valuable items are better protected from unpredictable surges in voltage. We also take the pressure off electrical contractors. They no longer have to make the decision around the suitability of surge protection for a home following the risk assessment. They can simply get on with the installation.

“Our long-standing relationship with Hager means we are totally confident we are specifying a quality, high performing solution thanks to the Design 30 consumer unit.”

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