Cable location shouldn't be a secret

01/02/2013

Electro-test has specialised in Electrical compliance surveys, periodic inspection testing and reporting, and problem solving/fault finding electrical installations for over 10 years.

We have seen the same recurring problem over and over. Damage to cables buried in walls caused mainly by other trades.

We are aware that new installations should have all cables protected by an RCD or earthed or mechanical sleeving; this is not so much a safety issue but one of considerable nuisance and inconvenience. For older existing installations in properties, possibly undergoing some form of kitchen upgrade, where the installation at the time did not require RCD protection, this can be a safety matter.

I have witnessed screw heads in kitchen cupboards that are live, were the screw has hit the live conductor of a cable. Similar in one installation where the skirting boards were replaced by a carpenter using a nail gun, two of the nail heads were live.

The wiring regulations (BS7671, 522.6.101) specify where cables should be installed, electrical contractors comply with these regulations but other trades appear to be unaware or do not care.

Further information should be supplied to other trade organisations to promote awareness and thus improve safety.
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