Dangers of cowboys for Essex business electrics

Your Essex business doesn’t only have to think about the main wiring and light circuits when you think electrics. As well as infrastructure, most premises will have extra appliances of some type installed.

As the Responsible Person, it’s down to you to ensure that your company premises comply with all sorts of legislation relating to Fire & Safety.

But choosing the right person to fulfil on those requirements can be harder than you think. Sensible procurement points you towards companies that have recognised qualifications like NSI, SSAIB for security system installers and BAFE for fire alarm installers.

However, you could be forgetting something very important. Most fire alarm or security system equipment requires a mains supply via a new circuit or an existing circuit. How do you know that bit is being done to the correct standard?

Jack of All Trades is not your friend

Recently there have been a couple of threads on LinkedIn where an accredited alarm installer was asking whether he should be “doing electrics”. And if there was training available for this.

It brought in a whole load of similar comments from other installers with the same confusion. They were qualified to install Fire & Security equipment BUT they had no certification for additional electrical work.

Some believed that you just needed to show you were ‘competent’ to do this type of work. But being competent to drive a car doesn’t make you competent to drive a double decker bus. And you wouldn’t wait for that to go wrong before you believed it!

Whilst homeowners have Part P certification to protect them, there is no legislation that forces commercial or industrial business to employ a qualified electrician or notify building regulations of works being undertaken.

Which is great until something goes wrong. This is when the business could be taken to court under the Electricity at Work Act 1989 or Health & Safety could get involved.

If you want to be absolutely sure that you have all your bases covered, the simple answer is that only qualified electricians should be doing anything relating to electricity.

How do I know if my supplier is using a qualified electrician for my Essex business?

To resolve this issue, Fire & Security companies often have an electrician on their workforce and will factor in his/her attendance as part of the quote for your job.  

Others will have a trusted third party electrical contractor to whom they outsource this crucial part of any installation. 

Still more will require the business to get this work done by a qualified electrician before they will commence on the Fire & Security installation.

And it’s not just Fire & Security equipment. It’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning units too. In fact, anything that requires mains power to make it function and doesn’t have a plug attached.

If anything needs to be done with the electrics in your office, shop, warehouse, factory or school, your installer should offer – and you should insist on – a qualified electrician to do the work.

Always ask to see proof that the work is being done by an NICEIC certified electrician.

That way you can be sure to get work that is insurance backed and guaranteed for 12 months. And a better night’s sleep knowing you have a safe installation!

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