Last edited 06 Apr 2021

Approved Document P

The building regulations establish standards that must be achieved in the construction of buildings.

Part P of Schedule 1 to the Building Regulations requires that, ‘Reasonable provision shall be made in the design and installation of electrical installations in order to protect persons operating, maintaining or altering the installations from fire or injury.’

This applies to electrical installations intended to operate at low or extra-low voltage, that are:

In order to meet this requirement, low voltage and extra-low voltage electrical installations in dwellings must be designed and installed to give appropriate protection against mechanical and thermal damage and not to present electric shock and fire hazards to individuals.

A series of Approved Documents set out what typically would be acceptable for compliance with the relevant requirements of Building Regulations. There is no legal obligation to follow the guidance in the Approved Documents.

Approved Document P - Electrical safety – Dwellings, describes methods for ensuring compliance with the electrical safety requirements for homes in relation to Part P of the Building Regulations. The most recent edition was published in January 2013 and came into effect in April 2013. It replaced Approved Document P (2006) which incorporated 2010 amendments. The main changes brought in by the 2013 edition included:

The content of the Approved Document includes:

Parts A, B, C, E, F, L and M of the Building Regulations also contain provisions relating to electrical installations.

An associated leaflet is available from the Planning Portal that provides general information on complying with the Building Regulations when undertaking electrical and other building work in the home.

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