If you’ve ever had electrical work done in your home or office, you were probably issued with a BS7671 certificate. This is usually issued at the completion of an electrical design, installation or repair project to show that the job was carried out in accordance to the relevant safety requirements and meets the accepted health and safety standard.
In January 2005, a law was passed whereby all work on electrical installations in homes, offices and commercial buildings across Britain would be required to comply with a particular standard. In the UK, this standard is the BS7671 requirements for electrical installations; it was put in place to serve as a guideline for electrical installations and to protect against shoddy workmanship or the use of substandard materials.
The BS7671 electrical safety certificate is usually given to the home or business owner at the end of a new electrical installation or after the completion of repairs to an existing electrical system. This certificate shows that the electrical installation was carried out by a qualified electrician and was inspected and tested in accordance with the BS7671 guidelines, which relate to the IEEE wiring regulations. The certificate is proof that the job meets the approved standard – be it a new design, installation, modification or alteration. First time wiring, rewiring, installation of new circuits, additions to existing circuits and any other electrical installation or modification in different areas of the property all fall under the type of electrical work that qualifies for a BS7671 certificate.
It is your responsibility to ensure any electrical project completed in your home or office is carried out by a qualified electrician. Only such an individual will be able to give you the quality of work that qualifies for a BS7671 certificate.
Apart from demonstrating compliance with Health and Safety regulations, a BS7671 certificate also provides other benefits to the property owner. For instance, should you decide to sell your property in future, you’ll need to provide a current BS7671 certificate, otherwise you may have a hard time selling the property. Additionally, not having an up-to-date BS7671 certificate will jeopardise your insurance cover in the event of an electrical accident on your premises. You may even face legal prosecution for putting the lives of people at risk by using unqualified electrical contractors for your electrical projects.
As long as you have a valid BS7671 certificate, you have the right to make a formal complaint to any of the relevant electrical regulatory bodies if you find out that the work completed is not up to standard. Some of the relevant bodies include: NAPIT, NICEIC and ELECSA. You can also use this certificate to take an ‘insurance back guarantee’, which gives you the right to make a claim if you discover the electrical work was not completed in accordance with the current building and safety regulations.
It’s vital that you use a qualified electrician for any electrical project and ask them for a BS7671 certificate on the completion of the work.