What is this standard about?
At around 500 pages long, BS 7671 Wiring Regulations is the UK’s main electrical safety standard. This must have document sets out requirements that detail how to perform electrical installations safely. First published in 1882, the 2018 version is the 18th edition of what in the Electrical sector is known as “the Regs.”
Who is this standard for?
- Anyone dealing with electrical installations
Why should you use this standard?
It sets out regulations which apply to the design, erection and verification of electrical installations, and to additions and alterations to existing installations.
Although not a statutory document, BS 7671 sets the standard for how electrical installations should be done in the UK (and many other countries) and enables compliance with the law.
The requirements in this standard come into effect on 1st January 2019. Installations designed after 31st December 2018 will have to comply with BS 7671:2018, hence the importance for all electrical professionals to ensure that they are up to speed with the new requirements.
NOTE: Existing installations that have been installed in accordance with earlier editions of the Regulations may not comply with this edition in every respect. This does not necessarily mean that they are unsafe for continued use or require upgrading.
What’s changed since the last update?
A summary of the main changes is given below, although this is not an exhaustive list.
Protection against electric shock – Metallic pipes entering the building having an insulating section at their point of entry need not be connected to the protective equipotential bonding (Regulation 4126.96.36.199).
Protection against thermal effects – A new Regulation has been introduced recommending the installation of arc fault detection devices (AFDDs) to mitigate the risk of fire in AC final circuits of a fixed installation due to the effects of arc fault currents.
Protection against voltage disturbances and electromagnetic disturbances – Section 443, which deals with protection against overvoltages of atmospheric origin or due to switching, has been redrafted.
Selection and erection of wiring systems – gives requirements for the methods of support of wiring systems in escape routes, has been replaced by a new Regulation 521.10.202. This is a significant change.
Chapter 53 Protection, isolation, switching, control and monitoring – Completely revised to deal with general requirements for protection, isolation, switching, control and monitoring and with the requirements for selection and erection of the devices provided to fulfil such functions.