From January 2015, the latest amendment to BS7671:2008 comes in force. One of the major changes in Amendment 3 is that all domestic consumer units must be made from a non combustible material, or enclosed in an cupboard made from non combustible materials. Realistically this means all consumer units must be made from metal.
Why are They Doing This?
The fire service have identified a number of fires in domestic premises that were started within the properties plastic consumer unit, as a result of poor electrical connections. When electrical connections are poorly terminated, a resistance is introduced and when current flows heat is created. As the connection gets hotter, the more resistance builds up and in the worst circumstances a fire starts. By containing the potentially poor connection in a metal enclosure will limit the spread of fire.
How Will it Effect Me?
Carrying out regular tests and inspections on your fixed electrical installation will help to identify safety issues within your property, we often describe it as like an MOT for your car. We can not over emphasise how important these tests are, but generally they are only carried out by landlords or when properties exchange hands. Please contact us and we will be happy to provide a competitive quotation to test your properties electrical installation and issue a NICEIC electrical condition report. The report will fully detail any problems found with your electrical installation and any areas that may require improvement. We will also offer a quotation to carry out any electrical repairs or modifications required.
To allow manufactures time to adjust to the new regulation concerning consumer units, it does not come into force until 1 January 2016. Many manufactures have started introducing metal consumer units and Hager have produced a very useful video which you can watch below.