Get in Touch

Jargon Busted – Wiring Regulations BS7671

Here’s a question for you: What’s the only thing more exciting than your team winning the cup the same week you win the lottery? Answer: Wiring regulations!

Joking aside: even electricians who dream of electric sheep (extra brownie points to anyone who recognises the book/ movie reference here) might struggle to get excited about new wiring regulations coming in. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t important: in fact, they can be life saving.

Every company hiring an electrical contractor should check that they are up to speed with new legislation – it’s not enough to say that they are qualified if they haven’t kept themselves informed about changes relating to electrical safety.

What are Wiring Regulations BS7671?

Wiring Regulations BS7671 are the industry standard for electrical installation in the UK. They were set by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and the British Standards Institution (BSI), authorities on electrical installation.

The ‘Regs’ as they are commonly known, are used for electrical wiring in everything from domestic homes to shops, public buildings, offices and factories.

What has this got to do with Trinidad and Tobago?

Believe it or not, the BS7671 standard is also used in other countries across the world, from Sri Lanka to Sierra Leone and from Cyprus to Trinidad and Tobago. Similar standards have been adopted on mainland Europe.

When did the changes come in and who are they for?

The 17th edition of BS7671 was introduced in January 2008 and relates to all installations following 1 July of that year. Since then there have been three Amendments: the first two were introduced in 2011 and 2013.

Amendment 3:2015, was published in January 2015 and will come into effect on 1 July 2015. This means that electrical engineers have a six-month transition period to get up to speed with the new regs.

The exception is Regulation 421.1.201 (Protection against fire caused by electrical equipment), which won’t come into full effect until 1 January 2016, as it relates to fire safety casings and it will take time for these to be manufactured.

Amendment 3 affects everyone working in the industry and is an important element in ensuring the safety of electrical engineers, contractors they work with and the clients they work for.

What are the changes?

Here’s an overview of the major changes:

  •  Sockets for general use must have 30mA RCDs to reduce the chance of electric shock.
  •  Consumer units and similar switchgear should have their enclosure manufactured from non-combustible material or be housed in a cabinet made of non-combustible material (to come into effect January 2016)
  • A new regulation on the methods of support for wiring in escape routes
  • Changes to earth fault loop impedances for all protective devices
  • Updated EIC (Electrical Installation Certificate) and EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report) forms

Where can sparkies find out more detail?

The IET and BSI websites have further information. There’s also a paperback book with the snappy title: IET Wiring Regulations (BS7671:2008 Incorporating Amendment Number 3:2015) (Guidance Note).

However, be aware that the price tag doesn’t leave you much change from 80 quid, leading to online reviews such as: ‘at least Dick Turpin had the decency to wear a mask’...


The Wiring Regulations – and the recent Amendments – are there for your safety. Any electrical contractor worth their salt will be aware of these changes and will ensure that they adhere to legal requirements when working at your site.

image description

Heat Pumps – the lowdown

Heat pump technology isn’t new. In fact, it dates back as far as the 1800s. But, like any technology, it has advanced over time. As a result, heat pumps have become more widely used in recent decades. In the last few years, heat pumps have become even more of a talking point in the UK […]

Read more
image description

How to identify whether you need a CompEx electrician

Any qualified electrician can take care of basic electrical installations, but not every electrician is qualified to work in hazardous areas (which requires a CompEx electrician). Manufacturing facilities often require more than the basics, so it’s important you get the right electrical contractors for the job. CompEx (meaning Competency working in Explosive atmospheres) refers to […]

Read more
image description

Why smart buildings are the future

There’s no denying that technological advancements in recent decades have changed the way we all work and live. Everything is becoming smarter and more efficient – including our buildings. More and more homeowners and businesses are investing in smart tech for their properties. While the initial outlay might be significant, the long-term benefits justify the […]

Read more
image description

What is a switchgear and why are they so important?

You don’t have to be an expert in electrical systems to operate a successful factory, but it does help if you have a basic understanding of the key components and their importance. One key element of your electrical system is the switchgear. Switchgear is a broad term that typically covers several devices that work together […]

Read more
image description

Future-proofing your factory

With compliance regulations and market demand constantly changing, it can be tough for manufacturers to keep on top of emerging trends. Even the best business strategies need to be flexible to ensure they can be adapted when necessary. So how do you prepare for the unknown? How can you future-proof your factory to ensure you […]

Read more
image description

What can cause power outages (and how to protect against them)?

A reliable power supply is crucial for factories to maintain uninterrupted operations. Any power outage can lead to delays in production, resulting in significant losses in terms of productivity and revenue. Understanding the causes of power outages helps you to prepare effectively for potential disruptions. Appropriate measures can be taken to mitigate the impact of […]

Read more