There are many homes in the UK that are still reliant on the old-style fuseboard. If you have one in use in your property, we strongly recommend that you replace it for a new style consumer unit. Not only will this be safer for you and your family, or tenants, but it will also bring you up to the current standards when it comes to electrical regulations.
The older style fuseboards are not always made of material that is non-combustible. This presents another danger to your property.
However, unless you have the full electrical qualifications, then you shouldn’t be trying to upgrade this fuseboard yourself. Nor should you be inviting a rogue trader into your home. Trust us, it’s not worth the risk.
Do I need to upgrade?
Your electrical installation should be in alignment with the BS7671 requirements. If this is the case, then no upgrade is necessary. However, you won’t be able to tell whether it is not just by ‘looking’. You’ll need to call a professional electrician in to your property to perform an electrical inspection.
To provide you with an understanding of whether your fuseboard might need an upgrade, we’ve put together a few pointers or tell-tale signs that your fuseboard needs an upgrade:
• Your fuseboard has either a wooden back or cast-iron switches, or both.
• You’re planning to rent out your property, and you know that the electrics haven’t been upgraded for several years.
• You don’t have any RCDs (residual current devices) otherwise known as sockets, that have been buried in the walls. You also don’t have any that outdoor electrical equipment can be plugged into.
• You are planning to build an extension, a conversion, adding Solar PV or even adding an electric shower – with new wiring and circuits.
No matter who is living in your property, you don’t want to put their life in danger, whether it’s your family or tenants. By not attending to these matters, you could even be putting yourself at risk of a substantial fine, court proceedings or perhaps imprisonment.
Unfortunately, over a million people are injured every year in the UK by electrical accidents and around 70 people die. It happens far more often than you may realise. Around half of the fires that occur in UK homes are started by electrical faults and many of these can be prevented by having RCD protection.
What do RCDs do?
Having an RCD (residual current device) is a must. It’s what will turn off the electricity off you get a shock. Without them installed, you’ll need to do this manually – which will be the difference between life and death. Here are the benefits of having them installed:
• Having a new fuse board installed will give your property some protection against fire in addition to protecting you against most electric shocks.
• There are many homes in the UK that don’t have RCDs installed, which puts the occupants at considerable but unnecessary risk.
To arrange a site visit please call us on: 02477 67 47 49
Fuse board upgrades...
So yes the regulations have changed again as of the 1st of January 2016 any fuse board fitted or upgraded needs to be metal (amendment 3) as well as RCD protected as before.
The Good news is they are safer.
Bad news is if you have any extensive work done that needs a new circuit that circuit will have to start from a metal clad fuse board and be RCD protected.
For example, you have a new kitchen ring and some lights installed this will need to either have a separate metal fuse board installed next to your existing one or change the current one to a whole new one and have everything together.
Why? You ask when my old one has being fine for all this time.
Regulations get updated all the time for lots of reasons but the main point for you the customer is insurance. We have to keep up with and work to the regulations to keep insured which means you are then insured should an Electrician make a mistake.
Also to point out if an unregistered or uninsured Electrician (we nick named them dangerous Dave from down the pub who will do anything for £50) does any work like changing a fuse board at your house and gets it wrong and the worst happens like a house fire. The insurance company will want to know what happened and using an unregistered Electrician will void your house insurance and if they are unregistered they cannot get insurance as an Electrician.
I follow these people around putting right their mistakes which is costly for the customer having to pay twice and sometimes for us to take out what’s being done to redo it correctly. Also scary at the things we see.
(Have a bash at it Electrical run by dangerous Dave - Easy to spot cheaper then everyone and can start tomorrow)
02477 67 47 49
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