How does Party ‘P’, the Owner, affect me?

It is all too easy to take electricity for granted and it goes without saying that most homes would be lost without it, however we must never forget how dangerous it can be. About 13,000 home fires, 760 serious injuries, and 12 deaths are caused each year by unsafe home electrical installations. By doing electrical work yourself you are not only breaking the law, you are also putting your life and the life of your family at risk. That’s why Part P exists.

What is Part P?

Since 2005, an electrical safety law, Part P of the Building Regulations, has been in force. Part P was introduced to improve homeowners’ protection and reduce the number of accidents caused by unsafe electricity.

The law requires that most electrical work be done by an electrician registered with a government-approved program. On completion of the job, a registered electrician will provide you with an electrical safety certificate and Certificate of Compliance, this acts as your assurance that the work meets the requirements of the Building Regulations.

So do I need an electrician to do all the electrical work?

No, not everything works. Some jobs officially known as “small jobs” you can do yourself. “Minor work” is electrical work that does not require the addition of a new circuit, examples of this include replacing outlets or replacing existing light switches and ceiling roses.

What jobs should a licensed electrician do?

Any work involving the execution of a new circuit or any electrical installation in kitchens, bathrooms and gardens must be carried out by a registered electrician. This is because these areas are classified as “special locations” and the risk of electric shock is much higher.

Work in other areas to be performed by a registered electrician includes, but is not limited to:

ï€ A completely new or rewired installation

ï€ Installation of a new circuit

ï€ Installation of a storage heater

ï€ Installation of a generator

ï€ Underfloor heating installation

ï€ Replacing a fuse panel

If you are unsure, check with a registered electrician or local building control office before beginning any work.

What will happen if I don’t comply with Part P?

Failure to comply with Part P is a criminal offense. If you do not comply, you will not have a certificate that shows that your electrical work has been carried out by a licensed electrician or that the work has passed as insurance. Because of this, it could also make it more difficult to sell your property in the future, as you will not be able to present evidence that the electrical work has been carried out in accordance with the Building Regulations.

Not only this, you could also face a fine of up to £5,000 and be made to pay by the local authority to have the faulty work removed or corrected.

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