Advice & Guidance

Electrical Safety

SwitchboardYour electrical systems should be inspected and tested by a qualified person at least once every five years. If any part of the system fails a test, immediate steps should be taken to have the fault corrected. If this is not possible in the short term, the faulty sections should be disconnected until a repair is carried out.

Only electrical contractors enrolled with the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting (NICEIC) or the Electrical Contractors Association (ECA) should be employed.

In addition, a routine check should be carried out by someone who is competent to understand the electrical system (not necessarily a qualified electrician) every year.

The annual routine check should look for any signs of wear or deterioration; missing parts; and incorrect labelling.  The correct operation of test buttons etc. should also be verified. Details of the routine check should be included in the building logbook.

Useful guidance on implementing an appropriate inspection and testing regime has been prepared by the Methodist Church and is available in their Guidance Note on Electrical Services.

Electrical socketsAppliances: Small electrical fittings such as portable heaters, kettles and fans are frequent causes of fires. It is therefore advisable to ensure that any such appliances and their connecting flexes are regularly inspected and replaced if faulty.

Extension leads should not be used on a permanent basis and cables should never be run under carpets as they may overheat. Remember to check the electrical wiring and equipment connected to organs too.

Information on maintaining portable electrical equipment is provided by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The following documents may be useful:

Kitchen appliances

Details of the routine checks carried out on portable electrical equipment should be included in the building logbook and appliances that are found to be faulty should be repaired or replaced immediately a fault is discovered. 

For general advice on how to keep people safe by reducing the risk of electrical accidents you might like to visit the website of the Electrical Safety First.

© SPAB 2012