Enhanced Fire Safety, Could you Escape in the Event of a Fire?

Enhanced fire safety introduced in Amendment 3.

New Regulation 521.201, requires on all escape routes, that any cabling install above escape routes, are to be supported by fire-resistant fastenings and fixings, so in the event of a fire the cables do not become loose and cause your escape route to become blocked when the installation is exposed to extreme heat.

This type of installation is common in multi occupancy buildings and therefore on your next inspection you may have to make improvements to the existing system in place.

Red cable clipOne suggestion is the use of metallic fastenings and clips, although this is not prescribed it is our preferred method to improve an existing installation here at Intelec Electrical Contractors.

To discuss your surface electrical installation call us on 01274 299876.

New Changes for Installation of RCD Protection.

In the new edition of BS7671 Chapter 41 examines the use of RCD protection on socket outlets.

single-rcdThe regulation now requires RCD protection in accordance with regulation 415.1 for socket outlets up to 20A and for mobile equipment with a current rating not exceeding 32A for outdoor use for all installations.

The only exceptions are, for socket outlets up to 20A, where the socket outlet is specifically labelled, or where a documented risk assessment determines that RCD protection is not necessary.

Chapter 61 makes a new reference to ‘skilled person (electrically only)’, which has the added condition of the person being competent in inspection, testing and certification work. It also notes that supplies up to 100 amps have a new, more detailed schedule of inspections.

Additionally, for installations greater than 100amps, a model list of items that require inspection during initial verification is provided in Appendix 6. This list, along with a documented risk assessment of any permitted exceptions to the list must be appended to the Electrical Installation Certificate and the declaration signed. Here at Intelec Electrical Contractors we take these recommendations into account when we carry out electrical installation safety reports, and carry out the necessary risk assessments and produce the reports required.

Van StuIf you require your electrical installation checking call us to discuss your needs further on 01274 299876.

A Not Very Competent Person Getting into Hot Water!

I have seen many things over my long career as an electrician, some good some bad and some so scary it makes you think, what is deemed as a competent person.

The Call Out

It was on one evening when I was called to a premise with a problematic immersion heater. Usually when it comes to these sorts of calls it’s the heater element that has burnt out and the customer is left with no hot water at all. On this occasion it was quite the opposite. It was reported that the heater was over heating causing the water to boil back up into the header tank.

Upon further investigation I located the problem.

The Problem


Who ever had carried out a previous repair when the element was not heating up had decided to remove the over heat thermostat. Not only had they removed a vital safety feature which would cause the unit to remain on constantly, but they had gone on to misplace the cord grip to prevent the cable from being pulled away & the terminal cover for the unit.

It’s been many years since I had last encountered the use of a Stork SB margarine tub for an I.P. box! But this was a new one. The water heater element terminal cover had been replaced with the bottom of a putty container! Competent person? It would only have taken a small nudge from a child to expose live terminals and cause serious injury.

The Repair

Needless to say I isolated the supply immediately to eliminate the risk of electric shock until a full repair could be carried out. Element, Thermostat and flex changed and now one very safe happy customer.

Make sure no matter how small a repair, use a competent electrical contractor.

If you need any electrical repairs avoid the horror stories and call Intelec Electrical Contractors today on 01274 299876.

Electrical Installations & How it Affects You

On 31st July 2015 the electrical industry faced some changes to the consumer units which are currently being installed (Plastic).
The Boffin’s over at the EIT have allowed a period of 6 months for all contractors to start installing to the new standards. The new standard will then be mandatory from the 1st of January 2016.
It is important that installers and home owners a-like understand what the amendment is and how it will affect their choice in selecting which type of mains consumer unit to install and comply.

Why is this Happening?

House fires involving consumer units have increased to approximately five incidents each week. It was revealed that the main cause of fires was loose connections within the consumer units. These new requirements will directly improve the personal safety and reduce the risk of residential fires. However you must still ensure the work carried out is by a suitably trained competent person and all work has been notified to building control to fully comply.

17th Edition Changes

What this Really Means?

Amendment 3 will require switchgear assemblies ( including consumer units ) to have their enclosures made from a suitable non-combustible material, or be installed in a cabinet or enclosure comprised from a suitable non-combustible material, for example steel.  This is all covered within Chapter 42 with the addition of regulation 421.1.201. Electrical Safety First, BEAMA and other industry organisations have had to make edits to Amendment 3 to ensure the interpretation of non combustable has been fully understood.
The mandatory changes to the consumer units, using metal enclosures, are now available and are now our main choice of installation here at Intelec Electrical Contractors.

Don’t be a Another Statistic


It was lucky they had working smoke detectors, Have you checked yours recently?.
If you are considering a consumer unit change don’t hesitate to give us a call 01274 299876.
(Amendment 3 was published on 5th January 2015 and will apply to all Electrical installations designed after 1st July 2015; however Regulation 421.1.201 will not be mandatory until 1st January 2016.)