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Protecting end users from fire – Regulation 421:1:201

 Apr, 29 - 2016   Electrical

Amendment 3 of the 17th Edition Wiring Regulations has seen a number of changes bought in over the last year, in a bid to improving safety and working practices.

Regulation 421:1:201 – Protection against thermal effects, which stipulates enhanced fire protection risk, became mandatory this January.


Why the change?


Recent statistics from the London Fire Brigade show an increase in consumer unit fires as a result of arcing cables where tightening of terminals has not been sufficient. This causes overheating terminals which eventually ignite the plastic enclosures.


BEAMA, the independent expert knowledge base for the electrotechnical industry, stated that loose connections are the primary root-cause of fires in consumer units.


In response to the clear need for change, the London Fire Brigade has been working alongside Electrical Safety First, BEAMA and other industry organisations to make edits to Amendment 3 requirements that will directly protect consumers from potential harm by decreasing the risk of residential fires.


How will it affect you?


Amendment 3 puts more responsibility on the installer, so it’s more important than ever that you’re up-to-date with the regulations.


There are new requirements for:

  • Enclosures for switchgear assemblies, including consumer units, which must be made from a suitable non-combustible material, for example steel.
  • Wiring systems above escape routes to be supported by fire-resistant fastenings and fixings.
  • RCD protection on socket outlets.


Installers and contractors need to design, install and certify to the new standard.  Contractors are expected to hold a copy of BS 7671:2008, incorporating Amendment 3, for any assessment visit taking place.


Read the Technical Bulletin from the BEAMA for more details on the regulations.


We’ve updated our electrical training manuals in line with Amendment 3 of the 17th Edition Wiring Regulations.


For more information about our electrical courses, click here.