Many UK homes are still equipped with old style fuse boards (like the one pictured). If your electrical installation is protected by one of these older style fuse boards we strongly recommend that you upgrade a new style consumer unit.
The newer consumer units provide better electrical safety to your home or business but more importantly, your family or tenants. A consumer unit will also ensure your home is up to the current standards of the electrical regulations.
For years now regulations have dictated that we fit RCD’s for additional protection. A Residual Current Device (RCD) is a must have safety device which switches electricity of in a fraction of a second if you get an electric shock. Old fuse boards don’t have RCDs and can take significantly longer to switch off the electricity – the difference between life and death!
In January 2015, IEE Wiring Regulations (BS7671) Amendment 3 was published. A major change in Amendment 3 concerned consumer units (the term for a modern day domestic fuse board). New regulation 401.1.201 stated that in domestic environments, consumer units and similar switchgear must be constructed from non-combustible material (metallic).
Unless you are a fully qualified and self-certified electrician, please don’t attempt to upgrade your fuse board by yourself or have a cheap trader do it for you, trust us, it’s just not worth the risk! By law, the homeowner or landlord must be able to prove that all electrical installation work meets Part P of the building regulations, or they will be committing a criminal offence.
In order to prove compliance with Part P of the building regulations, all notifiable electrical work (including fuse board upgrades) must be properly certified by a self certified electrician. Your electrician will then notify your local building control office of the works carried out and will be able to provide you with a Part P certificate, proving compliance. Without these documents you may come into some issues when selling/letting your property.
If your electrical installation is safe and meets the current regulations for an electrical installation then you won’t need to upgrade. However it’s very difficult to ascertain this information just by “looking” at your installation without testing, so the best way to check is to have an electrical installation condition report carried out on your installation.
There are however some tell-tale signs that you would benefit from upgrading your fuse board, these are:
Unsafe Electrics could put your tenant’s life in danger and put you at risk of a significant fine, civil damages or even imprisonment.
Don’t take the risk – get a modern Consumer Unit with RCD Protection fitted today.
Landlords must comply with statutory regulations or face significant risks
The Landlord & Tenant Act 1985, and several other statutory regulations, requires that electrical equipment is safe at the start of every tenancy and maintained in a safe condition throughout the tenancy.
Failure to comply with the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 and the Consumer Protection Act 1987 is a criminal offense and may result in:
Electrical accidents happen more often than you think
Information from the Electrical Safety Council reveals the following frightening statistics:
Residual Current Device (RCD) is a must have safety device which switches electricity of in a fraction of a second if you get an electric shock. Old fuse boxes don’t have RCDs and can take significantly longer to switch off electricity – the difference between life and death.
It’s unlikely you will need any other work doing just because your electrics are old. The most common additional work that may be required is earth bonding. It is mandatory under UK wiring rules that earth bonding is present before any electrical work can be undertaken.