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Buildings to have improved electrical wiring standards for better fire protection, in update to UK regulations

01 March 2018


UK electrical installation standards will soon require wiring systems within buildings to be adequately supported against their premature collapse in the event of a fire. Previously just a requirement of escape routes, the updated regulations will improve the electrical safety of buildings across the UK.

This change forms part of an official update to BS 7671, the UK standard for electrical installations set by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and the British Standards Institution (BSI).

The updates will be published in the 18th Edition of the IET Wiring Regulations BS 7671:2018 in July 2018. The IET is now urging all professionals working in the electrical industry to ensure they are familiar with the changes before the new regulations come into force from January 2019.

Other significant changes include the requirement for a ‘switching device’ to be implemented in the installation of renewable energy storage systems. This will allow homeowners to switch to using their saved energy to power their house in the event of a power cut, instead of feeding that energy back into the main grid. Changes have also been made to electric vehicle charging installations with PME supplies (the most common form of earthing in new installations) as well as new guidance for the design and erection of electrical installations that have local production and storage of energy for optimising efficiency.

Mark Coles, Head of Technical Regulations at the IET, said: “The IET is the authority for electrical installation in the UK and ensures that the national Wiring Regulations committee carefully considers all necessary updates to the Regulations to ensure they best meet the needs of the industry.

“The 18th Edition of the IET Wiring Regulations contains some significant changes to the way all electrical professionals are required to carry out their work in order to safeguard themselves and the public. With this in mind, it is essential that all electrical professionals ensure that they are up to speed with the new requirements.

“The IET will make the amended IET Wiring Regulations available in traditional print format, and from our digital platforms, meaning there is no excuse for not being familiar with the current requirements for electrical installation.”

The IET manages JPEL/64, the national Wiring Regulations committee, which carefully considers all the necessary updates to the Regulations to ensure they best meet the needs of the industry. The changes to BS 7671 also come from developments to international and European standards with which the UK has to comply.

The full list of changes to BS 7671 can be found here and will be published in the 18th Edition of the IET Wiring Regulations, due for release in July 2018. Pre-orders can be placed with the IET here.


To find out more about the new requirements for electrical installations, you can also speak to an expert at the IET on 01438 765599 or email technical@theiet.org

Notes to editors:

Media enquiries to:

Hannah Kellett

External Communications Manager

T: +44 (0)7738602426

E: hkellett@theiet.org