The change to metal clad protected consumer units in 2016

Due to recent house fires involving consumer units with plastic encasing, investigations were made by the London Fire Brigade. They deem that the cause of the fires were substandard cable connections made by Electricians, which then went on to ignite the plastic encasing creating a fire. In Amendment 3 of the BS 7671 17th edition Wiring Regulations, released in January earlier this year, the schedule of inspections for new installation work and condition report for existing installations must confirm that all conductor connections inside the consumer unit are located correctly in terminals and are tight and secure.

The Proposed Changes

Consumer units and any similar switch gear assemblies must comply with BS EN 61439 3 and shall either:

1)      Have enclosures made from non-combustible material, such as Ferrous metal (steel).


2)      Be enclosed in a separate enclosure made of non-combustible material and comply with Regulation 132.12.

The implementation date for this change is the 1st January 2016. The reasoning behind the new regulation is to contain fire inside the enclosure and to minimise any flames that could escape, in result preventing house fires. Within a few years, all consumer units installed in the UK will meet these guidelines and will prevent house fires and fatalities to both the public and the rescue services. With 3 deaths in the fire brigade caused by this sort of fault, it can be worked upon to make sure no deaths occur in the future.

Electrician Courses 4U Input

Here at Electrician Courses 4U we strive to ensure that Electricians are aware of the regulations currently in place. Our 17th edition course is often not just taken by newcomers to the industry, but people with many years of electrical experience that haven’t actually kept up to date with the Regulations. Consumer units are the hub of electricity that powers the house, and by ensuring that the enclosures are now made from ferrous metal, this should help prevent any faulty work or work that doesn’t meet the regulations from causing hazards. It’s in our best nature to ensure that we can keep as many electricians and newcomers to the industry completely safe and up to date with the Regulations.

With the law now in place, find out the latest news about the switch to metal clad consumer units!

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