Cash-strapped homeowners warned over DIY electrics

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Each year, unsafe electrics cause 12,500 house fires, 750 serious injuries and 10 deaths – but more than 60 per cent of Brits are happy to have a go at DIY in the home

And three-quarters aren’t aware this work could be subject to law under Part P of the Building Regulations

Following a new report which reveals one in ten homeowners have broke planning and building restrictions to carry out billions of pounds worth of home improvements1, householders attempting to have a go at electrical repairs are being urged to think again or risk putting themselves and their home in danger.

NICEIC, the UK’s leading regulatory body for the electrical contracting industry, is warning homeowners that most electrical work carried out in the home needs to meet the requirements of Part P of the Building Regulations to make it safe and legal.

However, research carried out by NICEIC shows that nearly two thirds of homeowners would happily have a go at home improvements themselves rather than employ a qualified electrician.

Worse still, the survey also showed that, only two in ten UK consumers have actually heard of Part P of the Building Regulations. Unsurprisingly then, three quarters aren’t aware that certain electrical work is subject to it.

Tony Cable at NICEIC said: “It is important to remember that government building regulations, such as Part P, have been put in place for a reason and shouldn’t be considered unessential. People are far too casual about electrics in the home, especially in the current economic climate when it is too tempting to try to save a few pennies where possible.

“What many fail to realise is that by attempting to do DIY electrics they could be putting their family’s lives at risk. Also, without the right electrical safety certificates, they may face difficulty when it comes to selling their home.”

Of these ‘have a go’ DIYers, over a third (35%) said they would attempt to rewire a socket, three in ten (29%) would add a new light switch and a further 28% would go so far as to install new garden lighting.

The majority of these jobs should be carried out by a qualified electrician who can then test and inspect the work. Alternatively, if a homeowners is determined to have a go themselves, the work must be notified to a local authority building control department who can inspect the finished job. Either way a certificate will be presented to confirm the work is safe.

With around 12,500 house fires, 750 serious injuries and 10 deaths caused by unsafe electrics in the home each year, this laidback attitude to electrical work presents a major cause for concern. In particular, installing electrical appliances outdoors is even more hazardous because of the presence of water and damp conditions.

To ensure electrical work in your home complies with the regulations NICEIC has issued the following advice:

Use a contractor registered with a Government-approved scheme such as the NICEIC.

Visit to search for registered contractors in your area

Don’t attempt jobs yourself if you’re not qualified. Similarly, do not ask a friend or family to do the work if they aren’t qualified to do so.

Ensure you receive a Part P Certificate upon completion of the job

Homeowners can find qualified electricians in their area at