Government To Change Rules On Home Electrical Work

Government changes to the regulations on DIY electrical work in the home have received a lukewarm reception from a St Mary’s electrician.

By April householders won’t need to seek Council approval for simple jobs like adding sockets to a kitchen, installing a new security light or a lawnmower socket in the garden.

At the moment those jobs require Town Hall consent at £240 a time. Work around baths or showers, which is thought to be riskier, will still need approval from the building control department. That’s a service that the planning office contracts out to Cornwall Council.

The changes are meant to reduce red tape, save money and boost the DIY sector.

But local electrician Colin Downie says the current legislation is virtually unenforceable because the authority doesn’t know what work you are doing. He says the government isn’t doing anyone any favours and Colin says the downside is that if the work is not satisfactory and leads to injury or death, then insurance will be null and void and you could face a fine or even imprisonment.

If you are doing electrical work in a new home, or an extension to an existing home, then this will need to be registered with the Council and an installation certificate will be required from an electrician registered with any of the national bodies.

Colin says there is nothing wrong with anyone having a go, but if you are unsure, please be on the safe side and get some advice from those who know what they’re doing.