Older fuse boxes such as the common white or brown wooden backed Wylex used a piece of fuse wire to protect against overcurrent i.e. when too much power was drawn from a short circuit. These re-wirable fuses are found in older electrical installations from the 60's through to the early 90's. These types of fuseboxes are no longer a safe and convenient way to protect you and your property.
If you have an older style re-wirable fuse box unit like the one mentioned above or a split load single RCD consumer unit you could benefit from an upgrade to a replacement modern 17th Edition Dual RCD consumer unit with circuit breakers instead of rewireable fuses and RCD protection to disconnect the supply in the case of an electrical fault.
For example, when mowing your lawn you could accidentally cut through the electrical supply cable to the Lawn Mower. In some cases, the older type fuse protection may not disconnect the electricity supply leaving the damaged cable still live and exposed. If you were then to come into contact with the exposed live conductors of the cable you could receive an electric shock which in some cases can be fatal.
Between 2008 and 2015 it became a requirement that in domestic properties we install RCD protection to all electrical circuits unless you are an electrical competant person. In essence we use the dual RCD consumer units as pictured to the left to ensure that all your house wiring is safe and you are protected to the highest level.
Now consumer units are even safer with amendment 3 in effect from July 2015. From January 2016 it is now compulsory to install metal consumer units in domestic dwellings to comply with the 3rd amendment of the IEE wiring regulations BS7671. This is to contain a fire that may start in a consumer unit due to over heating.
BEAMA, the independent expert knowledge base and forum for the electrotechnical industry for the UK and across Europe, has said that the primary root-causes of fires in consumer units are loose connections.
Additionally, the London Fire Brigade has found that fires involving consumer units have increased to approximately 5 incidents each week.
It's clear that a change needs to be made to protect consumers from potential harm.
The London Fire Brigade (LFB) has been working with Electrical Safety First, BEAMA and other industry organizations to make edits to Amendment 3 requirements that will directly improve personal safety and quell the risk of residential fires.
At Mad About Electrics the consumer units we supply and install fully comply with the 3rd amendment of the wiring regulations.
If you are unsure whether you need a new safety consumer unit call us or send us your details via our contact us page. We will be happy to help!