The third amendment to the Wiring Regulations includes a number of new requirements, covering consumers units, wiring in escape routes and protective devices, all designed to optimise fire safety in the home. The industry consensus is that the vital changes will be life saving.
The changes will apply to all new and rewired installations designed after 30th June 2015. As such, Newey & Eyre is reminding installers to take action today in order to get up to speed with the new requirements.
Kevin Norman, senior product manager at Newey & Eyre, said, ‘Amendment 3 to BS7671:2008 of the IET Wiring Regulations includes a host of significant changes that electrical installers and contractors must now adhere to, including a reduction in earth loop impedance values for added protection against electric shock, the addition of protective devices and conditions for cabling located in escape routes, and more.
‘Most importantly installers must ensure installations comply with the new standards and that correct inspection, testing certificates and reports are completed.’
He added, ‘Of course this will mean extra work for the already time stretched installer, but we have to remember why these reforms were brought in in the first place.
‘The changes in regulation 421.1.201 require consumer units and similar switchgear assemblies for use in domestic (household) premises to have their enclosures manufactured from non-combustible material, for example, steel. The implementation date for Regulation 421.1.201 is 1st January 2016 which is six months later than Amendment 3 to BS7671 as a whole. However, this does not preclude compliance to Regulation 421.1.201 prior to 1st January 2016. Indeed several manufacturers have products readily available to meet the new Regulation with more expected to follow in the next few months. This comes following an investigation by the London Fire Brigade into several tragic household fires, which concluded that a key cause of the incidents was due to faulty cable connections contained inside the consumer units. An issue which could so easily have been prevented and has, sadly, resulted in a number of fatalities.
‘In response, Amendment 3 has been designed to prevent the tragic outcomes we have witnessed in the past. It is an imperative change in regulation which will significantly prevent the threat to life which faulty wiring systems pose as well as irreversible damage to property, helping to raise industry standards for all.
‘Thus, with the first effects of the changes coming in this June, we would urge all contractors to ensure they are fully prepared and, in turn, help raise standards for all.’