Over the next year the electrical industry faces changes to the status-quo. It has already started with the introduction of BS 7671: 2008(2015) - Amendment 3 to the 17th Edition of the IET wiring regulations - on 1st January 2015 and will continue through to 2016.
Why the change?
BEAMA, the independent expert knowledge base and forum for the electrotechnical industry for the UK and across Europe, has said that the primary root-cause of fires in consumer units is loose connections. Additionally, the London Fire Brigade has found that fires involving consumer units have increased to approximately five incidents each week.
It’s clear that a change needs to be made to protect consumers from potential harm.
The London Fire Brigade LFB has been working with Electrical Safety First, BEAMA and other industry organisations to make edits to Amendment 3 requirements that will directly improve personal safety and quell the risk of residential fires.
What it Means?
To address this issue Amendment 3 will provide a degree of enhanced fire risk protection, requiring 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