Bureau Veritas Asserts 18th Edition Will Put Safety Firmly At The Forefront

With a little over a year to go, Bureau Veritas has pledged its full support to the not-too-distant arrival of the 18th edition of the IET Wiring Regulations – asserting it will place increased emphasis on the safety of people.

Due to be published in July 2018, BS 7671 – IET Wiring Regulations 18th edition is expected to include a number of significant changes in relation to protection against fire, protection against overvoltages and clarity on special locations installations, in a bid to optimise safety in domestic, industrial and commercial locations.

This latest activity comes as the risk of fire resulting from electrical installations remains a hugely prevalent problem despite the highly anticipated arrival of Amendment 3 to the 17th edition of the Wiring Regulation in 2015. Currently, it is estimated that electricity causes over 20,000 accidental fires in the UK each year, while nine out of 10 (89%) electrical fires are caused by faulty electrical products.

Mahendra Mistry, Technical Manager (Electrical) at Bureau Veritas comments: “Although Amendment 3 to BS 7671:2008 of the IET Wiring Regulations included a host of changes designed to provide extra protection against the risk of fire and electric shock, the reality is that there are still five accidents caused every single day in the UK by poor electrical installations.

“As an industry, we have a huge job to do in placing greater emphasis on the protection of people; which the 18th edition will more adequately address. At Bureau Veritas, drawing on our first-hand experience of testing and inspecting electrical installations, we have been able to provide a trend analysis of where the problems lie – all of which will feed into the initial draft of the 18th edition.”

Although details are yet to be confirmed, the consensus is that the 18th edition regulations will provide new guidance on the installation of arc fault detection devices (AFD) to mitigate the risk of fire in final circuits of a fixed installation due to the effect of arc fault currents. It is also expected to place a much greater onus on a risk assessment in order to determine if protection against transient overvoltage is required to protect high risk and sensitive locations, such as medical locations, heritage buildings, banks, IT centres etc, against fires and loss of electrical supply.

In addition, a more extensive special locations section will provide greater clarity on electrical installations for de-icing or frost prevention in indoor and outdoor systems, such as football pitches, and similar applications which, until now, haven’t been a focus.

Mahendra adds: “Although still in inventory stages, the 18th edition will place a much greater onus on the dangers posed to human life and property from faulty electrical installations and wiring systems. Indeed, it may mean more change for electricians and contractors to get to grips with but it is an incremental regulatory reform which, ultimately, will help to save lives.”

Following the launch of an initial draft for public consultation this summer, the 18th edition will be published in July 2018 and is due to come into effect for all new and rewired installations designed after January 2019.

To find out more about Bureau Veritas please call 0345 600 1828 or email  info@uk.bureauveritas.com.. Alternatively, please visit www.bureauveritas.co.uk