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Last Updated: Saturday, 27 November, 2004, 17:13 GMT
Electrical DIY-ers face new law
Changing Rooms' Handy Andy
New rules means householders may opt to bring in the professionals
DIY-ers are to be hit by new laws set to come into force in January to combat unsafe electrical work.

From next year "significant" electrical work will have to be carried out by a qualified and registered electrician, the government has confirmed.

If householders decide to do the work themselves, it will have to be checked by local authority building inspectors.

Phil Hope, the minister responsible for building regulations, said the aim of the new rules was to save lives.

Botched work

About 10 deaths each year are attributed to botched electrical work and fires caused by badly-installed wiring and appliances.

Mr Hope told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "This is all about saving lives and reducing injuries from unsafe electrical work.

"Most small electrical jobs won't be covered by the regulations. It won't apply to repairs to power-points or putting spurs onto a circuit, unless you are working in the kitchen or bathroom area or outdoors, because electricity and water don't mix.

Website launched

"Of course, if people want to do DIY themselves they can, but if they do it in a high-risk area they need to notify the local authority building control department so they can do a check that it has been done in a way that is safe."

A website will be launched on 1 January to provide details of the new rules and put householders in touch with approved electricians, and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is planning a campaign to publicise the regulations.

Jane Rogers, of the Electrical Contractors Association, welcomed the new rules.

"We are fully confident that this is a major step forward in raising the standard of electrical work in the home," she said.


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Why the new laws are being brought in



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