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'Are you 18th edition compliant?' Asks Bureau Veritas as new regs come in force

Jan. 31 2019

With the 18th Edition of the IET Wiring Regulations introduced earlier this month, Bureau Veritas is urging the industry to lead the way in best practice by not only ensuring compliance with the mandatory requirements it brings but also the non-compulsory recommendations suggested in the new standard.

Published on 2 July 2018, the BS 7671 – IET Wiring Regulations 18th edition now applies to all new and rewired installations designed after 1st January 2019. Representing the biggest shakeup in fire safety protection in decades, the new reforms set out significant recommendations including that all new installations are advised to be fitted with arc fault detection devices (AFDDs) to mitigate the risk of fire in final circuits from arc fault currents.

According to leading testing, inspection and certification firm Bureau Veritas, as many of the non-compulsory recommendations in the regulation will eventually become mandatory in successive amendments, the advice to electrical contractors is to implement the full scope of the new standard sooner rather than later.

Michael Kenyon, electrical specialist Bureau Veritas, said: “This means considering the latest rules and recommendations when designing a new installation, and for those using specialist design software to do this, it’s worth ensuring the software has been updated with any 18th Edition calculations that may be required.

“However, although there are a number of non-compulsory recommendations including the use of AFDDs, the direction of travel is clear; following the Grenfell disaster, the 18th Edition has been designed to improve fire safety in a way that has never been seen before. 

“As implementation kicks in this month, we expect this ‘safety first’ approach to protecting employees, homeowners, students and residents to intensify in the coming years and many of these recommendations will no doubt become mandatory in subsequent amendments. 

“Therefore, our advice to the industry is to lead the way in best practice and implement both the mandatory and suggested changes as soon as possible in order to ensure compliance and the highest standards of fire safety.”

Bureau Veritas also revealed that electrical contractors looking to get to grips with the new regulations may need to complete the 18th Edition City & Guilds course, as after January 2019 many employers and clients will require this before granting new contracts.

Michael adds: “Compliance is an ongoing process and over the last decade we’ve seen a major shift towards a greater emphasis on the use of residual current devices (RCDs) to not only prevent people from getting fatal electric shocks but also prevent fires. 

“For many, these new regulations may, at first, be hard to decipher and put into practice. However, it’s literally a matter of life and death for duty holders and electrical contractors alike to get ahead of the rules as achieving compliance alongside regular improvements and routine inspections will, ultimately, help to save lives.”

Bureau Veritas offers a range of testing and certification services to support customers in managing compliance around electrical safety in general for new and existing installations or for specific areas, such as electric vehicle charging points. 

For further information, call 0345 600 1828 or email info@uk.bureauveritas.com.