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Part P Explained

Download Part P document in pdf 

Part P of the Building Regulations was published on 22nd July 2004. Part P provides improved statutory support to BS 7671, the IEE Wiring regulations. Approved Document P of the Building Regulations is the guidance document relating to fixed electrical installations in dwellings in England and Wales. Any fixed electrical installation in dwellings is a controlled service as defined in the Building regulations 2000. Now, anyone carrying out fixed electrical installation work in a dwelling must comply with Part P:

Building Regulations

In addition, people who are doing electrical work must have an appreciation of how the Building Regulations in general affect their electrical installation work and they need to be sufficiently competent to confirm that their work complies with all the applicable requirements of the Building Regulations, not just Part P.Such requirements include, but are not limited to:-

  • Part A (structure) – depth of chases in walls and size of openings in joists or structural elements.
  • Part B (fire safety) – fire resistance of ceilings and walls including provision of fire alarm and detection systems. 
  • Part C (site preparation and resistance to moisture) – moisture resistance of openings or penetrations for cables through external walls.
  • Part E (resistance to the passage of sound) – penetrations through ceilings and walls.
  • Part F (ventilation) – ventilation rates for areas within a dwelling.
  • Part L (conservation of fuel and power) – energy efficient lighting, effective controls including automatic controls.
  • Part M (access to and use of buildings) – heights of switches, socket outlets, etc.
  • Part P (electrical safety) – fixed electrical installations in dwellings

These Approved Documents may be downloaded free of charge from the Communities and Local Government website at 

Scope of Part P

The scope of Part P applies to fixed electrical installations in buildings or parts of buildings comprising:

  • Dwelling houses and flats;
  • Dwellings and business premises that have a common supply – for example, shops and public houses with a flat above;
  • Common access areas in blocks of flats, such as corridors and staircases (not lifts);
  • Shared amenities of blocks of flats such as laundries and gymnasiums;
  • Outbuildings such as sheds, detached garages and greenhouses served from a local dwelling, including garden electrics, external lighting and pond pumps, etc. 

A dwelling, as defined in Part B of the Building Regulations, which deals with fire safety, is: 

“A unit of residential accommodation occupied (whether or not as a sole or main residence) by a single person or by people living as a family, or by not more than six residents living together as a single household, including a household where care is provided for residents.” 

 Places of employment and work places such as hotels and university campus student accommodation fall outside the scope of Part P. These types of buildings are, however, covered by the Electricity at Work Regulations and their electrical installations are required to comply with BS 7671, the IEE Wiring Regulations.