Even with our growing Great British love for DIY, when it comes to dealing with household electrics, it is still important to know when, and why, you should use a registered electrician. Afterall, electrical work can be amongst the most dangerous jobs carried out at home, and if it goes wrong you could literally end up watching everything go up in smoke.
When you are planning any electrical work in your home, check whether it falls under your local Building Regulations. If it does, you must use an electrician registered with a government-approved scheme, who will take care of everything on your behalf.
Which Registered Schemes Should I Look out for?
NICEIC – the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting. A voluntary regulatory body for electrical contractors, which has been running for fifty years and is currently monitoring over 26,000 registered contractors.
The NICEIC assesses electricians regularly against safety standards, building regulations, IEE Wiring Regulations BS 7671 and other standards; guarantees unsatisfactory work is corrected at no extra charge to you; operates an independent complaints procedure, and will provide you with an insurance-backed guarantee.
NAPIT– the National Association for Professional Inspectors and Testers. NAPIT registered installers are approved under the Competent Person Scheme (CPS) to self-certify their work against Part P of the Building Regulations afterthe job has been completed. This saves time in seeking prior approval from Local Authority Building Control for electrical, heating, plumbing or ventilation work. Registered installers are also assessed for competence to work within commercial and industrial sectors.
ELECSA– operates on behalf of Communities and Local Government to inspect, assess, and certify its member contractors as competent. They are authorised to cover electrical (Part P) contractors and other building services for private dwellings, contractors installing renewable technology, building services sector (including solid fuel, oil, heating, and hot water). Also authorised by the Department of Energy and Climate Control to operate the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) and Green Deal. More than 75% of its 7300 contractors are small independents, but you are guaranteed the same high standards and professional service from each of them.
How can a Registered Electrician Help Me?
They will carry out:
- any work that involves repairing, replacing, or installing a new circuit.
- rewiring within the property.
- electrical installations in “special locations” such as bathrooms, kitchens, and gardens. This is because the hazards and risk of electric shock in these areas is greater.
- the installation of such items as a storage heater, a generator, underfloor heating.
- replacement of a fuse board.
It is always advisable to check whether a registered electrician is required before you start anything other than minor electrical work. Doctor Electrical will be happy to guide you through this if you are unsure.
Benefits of Using a Registered Electrician
- Safety – they are regularly assessed for the quality of their work and must meet safety standards BS7671.
- Financial benefits – they are insured, so you’re protected if anything goes wrong. Also, because their work is guaranteed to meet strict standards, you won’t need to have any work re-done.
- Peace of mind – you know you, your family, and your home will be safe as their work meets a consistently high standard, and they are regulated by UK Government schemes.
- Options – a registered electrician must be approved by one of many schemes, so you will not be limited to one alone within your area. A choice of people to contact gives you options to compare quotes and references.
- Legal – Part P legislation* was introduced in 2005 to protect homeowners and reduce the number of accidents caused by faulty electrics and electrical work. It’s now a legal requirement for certain types of work to be carried out by a registered electrician or contractor. Once the work is completed and signed off, they will provide you with an electrical safety certificate and a Compliance Certificate. This is your guarantee that the work meets the requirements of the Building Regulations.
If you use an electrical installer who is not a registered ‘competent person’, they must engage a registered third-party certifier within five days of completing the work. Assuming the work is satisfactory, the certifier will complete an Electrical Installation Condition Report (meeting BS 7671) or a Part P specific report and provide it to the installer. This will then be your confirmation.
*Non-compliance with Part P and failure to provide the relevant documentation will not only make it difficult for you to sell your home but you could also be forced to pay for the faulty work to be rectified and even face a £5,000 fine.
So, now you know why you should use a registered electrician, the choice is yours. No matter which organisation they belong to, you can go ahead with the work knowing you are in the hands of a competent professional who won’t let you down. Doctor Electrical will always give you that peace of mind, and no job is ever signed off without your complete satisfaction!