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wiring regulations in brief second edition pdf

About the author

Ray Tricker (MSc, IEng, FIET, FCMI, FCQI, FIRSE) is
the Principal Consultant of Herne European Consultancy –
a company specializing in Integrated Management
Systems – and an established Butterworth-Heinemann
author (39 titles).


The Industrial Revolution during the 1800s was responsible for causing poor
living and working conditions in ever-expanding, densely populated urban

Outbreaks of cholera and other serious diseases (through poor sanitation, damp conditions and lack of ventilation) forced the government to take
action. Building control took on the greater role of Health and Safety through
the first Public Health Act in 1875 and this eventually led to the first set of
national building standards (i.e. the Building Regulations).
As is the case with most official documents, as soon as they were published,
they were almost out of date and consequently needed revising. So it wasn’t
too much of a surprise to learn that the committee responsible for writing
the Public Health Act of 1875 had overlooked the increased use of electric
power for street lighting and/or domestic purposes.

Electricity was beginning
to become increasingly popular but, as there were no rules and regulations
governing their installation at that time, the companies or person responsible
simply dug up the roads and laid the cables as and where they felt like it!
From a Health and Safety point of view the Government of the day
expressed extreme concern at this exceedingly dangerous situation and so
in 1882 The Electric Lighting Clauses Act (modelled on the previous 1847
Gas Act) was passed by Parliament.

This legislation was implemented by
Rules and Regulations for the prevention of Fire Risks Arising from Electric
Lighting and it is this document that is the forerunner of today’s IEE Wiring

Since then, this document has seen a succession of amendments, new editions and new titles and has now become the 17th edition of
the IEE Wiring Regulations (i.e. BS 7671:2008 ‘ Requirements for Electrical
Installations ’ ).
The current legislation for all Building Control is the Building Act 1984,
which is implemented by the Building Regulations 2000 and these Building
Regulations are a set of minimum requirements designed to secure the health,
safety and welfare of people in and around buildings and to conserve fuel and
energy in England and Wales.

They are basic performance standards which
are supported by a series of documents that correspond to the different areas
covered by the regulations. These are called ‘ Approved Documents ’and they
contain practical and technical guidance on ways in which the requirements
of the Building Act 1984 can be met.
Since the introduction of the Public Health Act in 1875 there has always,
therefore, been a direct link between Electrical Installations and Building
Control and parts of all of the Approved Documents have an affect on
these sorts of installation.

With the publication of Approved Document P

Content of this book
To reflect these changes, this second edition of Wiring Regulations in Brief is
structured as follows:
Chapter 1
The background to BS 7671, what it contains and a
description of its unique numbering system, objectives and
legal status. The effect that the Wiring Regulations have
on other Regulations and how this British Standard can be
Chapter 2
The requirements of the Building Act 1984 together with the
Building Regulations:2000 and their Approved Documents
(which provide guidance for conformance) and how these
Building Control Regulations inter-relate with the Wiring

A resumé of the responsibilities for electrical

The types of inspections and tests that have to
be completed and the requirements for records. The contents
of Approved Document P for electrical safety and other
relevant Approved Documents (such as those for Fire Safety,
Access and Facilities for Disabled People, Conservation of
Fuel and Power, Resistance to the Passage of Sound etc.)
together with a listing of all the most important requirements
that directly concern electrical installations.
Note: Whilst the requirements from the Wiring Regulations are normally prefaced by the word ‘ shall ’(meaning that this section is a mandatory requirement), you will notice that the Building Regulations use the words ‘ should ’
(i.e. recommended), ‘ may ’ (i.e. permitted) or ‘ can ’ (i.e. possible).
The reason for this is that Approved Documents reproduce the actual
requirements contained in the Building Regulations relevant to a particular