I sat down yesterday and read right through the document. There are still some things there which I would query, and I have to admit to being even more confused about what the law will actually be.
Much of the preamble to this document seems to be written in rather wide-ranging terms rather than saying anything specific.
Start with the part P extract on page 5:
PART P ELECTRICAL SAFETY
Design, installation, inspection and testing
P1. Reasonable provision shall be made in the design, installation, inspecting and testing of electrical installations in order to protect persons from fire or injury.
Provision of information
P2. Sufficient information shall be provided so that persons wishing to operate, maintain or alter an electrical installation can do so with reasonable safety.
Is that it? Where is the reference to any remaining wording in the building regulations? I don't mean the rest of the waffle from the "Office of the Deputy Prime Minister," I mean actual, hard, law.
I don't see anything here which effectively says something like "Installations shall comply with BS7671 (IEE Wiring Regulations)."
Reading on a little further, the language continues to be equally non-specific.
0.1 In the Secretary of State's view, the requirements will be met by adherence to the 'Fundamental Principles' for achieving safety given in BS7671 : 2001 chapter 13.
To achieve these erequirements electrical installations must be:
a. designed and installed to provide appropriate protection against mechanical and thermal damage, and so that they do not present electric shock and fire hazards to people;
b. suitably inspected and tested to verify that they meet the relevant equipment and installation standards.
Frankly, I don't give a d*** what the Secretary of State's view is on the matter. If it's not in the law, it's not enforcable. Period.
I'd be willing to bet that the Secretary of State's electrical knowledge extends about as far as wiring a plug or changing a light bulb anyway.
Carry on to the next section:
0.2 A way of satisfying the fundamental principles would be to follow:
a. the technical rules described in the body of BS7671 : 2001, or an equivalent standard approved by a member of the EEA that includes issuing an electrical installation certificate to the person ordering the work; and
b. guidance given in installation manuals that are consistent with BS7671 : 2001, such as
i) The IEE (Institution of Electrical Engineers) On-Site Guide;
ii) The series of IEE publications, Guidance Notes Nos. 1 to 7
Look at the wording. It doesn't say "Compliance with these fundamental principles shall be demonstrated by following...."
It says "A way of satisfying the fundamental principles would be to follow......" which implies that other ways of satisfying these fundamental principles would be equally acceptable.
The reference to other EEA-approved standards seems to confirm this, but again, if the only actual legal
requirement is to comply with these rather broad fundamental principles, then I could wire my house to American standards, Australian standards, or any other system I care to mention.
The whole thing seems to be very vague. Or am I missing something?
[This message has been edited by pauluk (edited 07-25-2004).]