Electrical wiring – inspections and safety

17 January 2024

The use of electricity has the potential to cause considerable damage or injury, so regular inspections of your church’s electrical wiring and devices is essential.

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Fixed electrical systems

Church fires can frequently be attributed to faulty or ageing wiring so inspections are vital to check for any issues before they cause damage or injury. Fixed electrical systems should:

  • Be inspected and tested at least once every five years in accordance with the recommendations of the Methodist Church Property Office handbook (section 02/02 Electrical Installations General).
  • Meet IET Regulations, Guidance Note No. 3 with an electrical installation and conditioning report issued in every case.

Portable appliance testing

Portable electrical devices are electrical equipment which is connected to the mains by a lead and a plug. It must be suitable for the job in hand and properly maintained to prevent danger.

Damaged electrical equipment can cause shock or, in some cases, burns. To avoid this:

  • Carry out user checks, visual inspections and appliance testing depending upon the type of equipment used, the risk of it becoming faulty; and how the equipment is constructed.
  • Make sure checks are regular, the periodicity for inspection and testing will vary. The Health and Safety Executive provides further guidance on their website.
  • Defective or problematic appliances need to be fixed or removed from the premises.

Choosing competent people

All inspections and testing must be carried out by a competent person:

  • Electricians or electrical contractors who are only registered to undertake work on domestic installations under Part P of the Building Regulations are not deemed acceptable by Methodist Insurance.
  • A qualified electrician with full scope registration or membership to work on commercial installations and certified with the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting (NICEIC), The Electrical Contractors Association (ECA), The National Association of Professional Inspectors and Testers (NAPIT) or The Electrical Contractors’ Association of Scotland (SELECT).