Questions Arising

16 June 2016

Online resource for contractors clarifies Wiring Regulations

Standards provide an agreed way of doing something but in real life they have to be interpreted – no matter how clearly presented they may be. And given the range of jobs an electrical contractor can undertake, they can find themselves wondering how best to interpret certain aspects of the Wiring Regulations (BS 7671).  So it’s not surprising that an online forum, established by leading safety charity, Electrical Safety First, has proved to be a popular resource for the industry, with 87,000 views in one year – and over 5,000 in just one month.

The forum - the Wiring Regulations Advisory Group (WRAG) – is comprised of representatives from a range of bodies which are involved in developing the Wiring Regulations and offers guidance on frequently asked questions, which are posted on the Charity’s website.

“While we can’t respond to individual queries – we would simply be snowed under – we ask contractors and installers who are seeking technical advice on the regulations to contact their registration or trade body, who can submit the question to the forum, with responses published on our website”, explains Martyn Allen, Head of Electrical Safety First’s Electro-technical Department.

Previously, when a number of people had raised the same or similar questions about BS 7671, the issue could be dealt with directly by the committee which oversees the Wiring Regulations. But this stopped when the new Standard for Standards (BS02011) - published in 2012 by the British Standards Institution (BSI) -  prohibited standards’ committees from providing an individual interpretation of standards.

“We developed WRAG because it was obvious to us that it was in no-one’s interest if different industry bodies issued conflicting advice”, adds Martyn. “And although the information provided by WRAG is intended for electrical industry professionals, others, including landlords, may find it of use when looking for advice on electrical matters.”

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Editor’s Notes

  • The Wiring Regulations BS7671 Requirements for Electrical Installations are produced and maintained by the joint BS1/IET committee JPEL/64. Historically, JEPL/64 would respond to queries about these regulations.
  • In addition to Electrical Safety First, membership of WRAG includes representatives from: APHC, BEAMA, British Gas, BSI, City & Guilds, Corgi, ECA, ELECSA, IET, NAPIT, NHBC, NICEIC, OFTEC, SPACES and SELECT.

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