The dangers of using unregistered electricians cannot be minimised. Homeowners who fail to use Part P-accredited contractors for electrical repairs or appliance breakdown repairs are not just risking their money – as they may have to pay for another electrician to come round and repair the unregistered electrician’s shoddy work – but are also risking their lives. We may now be used to receiving electricity safely, and may not have to spend any time at all concerned about electrocuting ourselves, but this can all change should a rogue trader attempt to fix your electrics.
You might think that the number of unregistered electricians is on a continual decline, but research from Electrical Safety First has found that this is incorrect. In the organisation’s Annual Consumer Survey, which ran from April 11th to May 1st, 7% of respondents who had used an electrician in the previous year had used an unregistered contractor – more than three times the 2% of respondents to the 2013 survey who said that they had done so. Furthermore, 20% admitted they did not know whether they electrician they used was registered or not.
Electrical Safety First estimated that there are currently 20, 000 unregistered electricians in the UK alone, with approximately one-third of all trading electricians unregistered. The use of these electricians is likely to have an influence on the number of people seriously injured by electricity – currently around 350, 000 Britons every year – and could lead to a huge range of electrical home emergencies.
Director-General of the organisation Phil Buckle said electricity can be lethal, stating: “It’s not worth taking a chance.”
He advised people to be careful when considering which contractor to choose when their homes need emergency electrical repairs, revealing that he is concerned by the increasing number of people that knowingly hire unregistered electricians or that are uncertain if their electrician is legally capable of performing the task at hand.
Almost all electrical work in the UK must be conform to British Standard 7671:2008 (Requirements for Electrical Installations). These standards legally oblige electricians to register with a Government-approved scheme, to provide residents with electrical safety certificates and compliance certificates, and to complete the work in a safe and proper manner.
The only tasks that do not fall under Part P regulations are the simplest electrical home repairs, such as replacing single-circuit cables, replacing the enclosures of electrical appliances, fitting light bulbs, witches, socket outlets and fused spurs on existing circuits (aside from those in high-risk locations such as kitchens, bathrooms and gardens), and replacing socket outlets, ceiling roses and control switches.
You might be uncertain how to determine whether or not an electrician is qualified to perform Part P emergency electrical repairs. If you have home emergency cover with 247 Home Rescue, you can be confident that your electrician will have the necessary qualifications and accreditations!