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Before Planning and Designing your Kitchen - 2
Safety, Relevant Certificates, Measuring.

Electricity:

The Government have also introduced new rules in England and Wales on carrying out electrical work in the home in an effort to reduce the number of deaths, injuries and fires caused by faulty electrical installations. The changes mean that from 1st January 2005, any person carrying out electrical work in residential dwellings must be competent to do so, as required by Approved electrical document Part "P" for Building Regulations.

In addition to being competent, certain areas of electrical work must be either notified to the relevant local authority Building Control Department, or notified through a qualified person, who is registered with the Part P self-certification scheme.

Residual Current Devices (RCD)

The biggest change from the 16th to 17th edition part P, is the Residual Current Device (RCD). The use of RCDs are recognised as a means of providing additional protection in the event of failure of the provision for basic protection, as an additional means of fault protection, and to protect against carelessness by users.

An RCD can detect changes in the correct flow of electric current e.g. when a flex or cable is cut, or an electrical tool or appliance has a fault. When this happens within milliseconds, the RCD automatically disconnects the power supply to all the equipment before you can be electrocuted or any further damage can be done to the faulty item.

Please download this small phamplet supplied by the Electrical Safety Council to explain RCDs.

Electrical Earthing and Bonding

If you are having an alteration or addition to your electrical installation, you must check that the earthing and bonding arrangements are up to the required standard. This is because the safety of the new work (however small) will depend on the earthing and bonding installation work.

It is easy to confuse earthing and bonding because of the visual similarities between them. Green-and-yellow colour identification of the protective conductors is used for each. Both are associated with the protection against indirect contact. Bonding is quite distinct from earthing in its purpose, and in many of the requirements that it has to satisfy.

Please download this small phamplet supplied by the Electrical Safety Council to explain both Earthing and Bonding.

Gas and Electrical certificates:

Gas safety certificates are issued by Gas Safe registered engineers to confirm that gas appliances are working safely.

After your gas appliance has been installed or serviced, your Gas Safe registered engineer will give you a gas safety certificate. This certificate tells you that the gas appliance is safe and the work meets the safety standards.

It will also tell you when you next need to service the appliance. Getting your appliances serviced every year is vital to its safety and efficiency.

As with Gas Safe, any electrical installation work carried out will give the householder reports and certificates signifying the installation has been carried out safely and correctly. These Declarations of Safety must be kept in the house records.

For a Stress Free Conclusion:

As at todays date, kitchens have not been included in the Home Information Pack (HIPs) but there was at one stage a possible overlap with the Home Condition Report (HCR) concerning electrical work and Gas Safe. The government decided to "water down" HIPs by removing the HCR to satisfy the consumer, as they could see it becoming a vote loser.

Although Gas work must be certificated under Gas Safe and electrical work must be according to Part "P" both as a legal requirement, neither are a direct part of the HIPs, but both gas and electrical alterations are examined closely by the buyers solicitors and questions asked when selling or purchasing a house, so they cannot be compromised at all costs.

The new regulations may cause you confusion, so we at Dream Kitchens will take all the stress away from you, by ensuring that you are legally protected. We have our own appointed staff available, to cover both Gas Safe and electrical Part "P" without you needing to get involved with any red tape.

Measuring your Kitchen:

If possible we prefer to take our own measurements and obtain a concept of the kitchen from useable space to direction of light etc to enable us to recomend the best options, but if you prefer to send or bring us in a drawing please observe the following tips,Tape measure Carefully measure up your kitchen in centimetres or millimetres making a precise scaled plan, measure in a clockwise direction, starting from the internal door, noting which direction all the doors open.

Take extra care on checking the following:

    1. Ensure the kitchen is square, by measuring diagonally if necessary,show any permanent features such as doors and windows including sills,

    2. Always check dimensions, if in doubt measure it again, remember door and window widths are from the outside edges of the architrave,

    3. Take the ceiling height at several points particularly at the position of tall and wall units, marking the position on the drawing,

    4. On a separate sketch carefully mark the location of existing power points, plumbing, gas supply, boilers, air vents, radiators and boilers etc, showing measurements from the end walls and heights from the floor, if gas and/or electrical meters are hidden in a base or wall unit don′t forget to mark it on the drawing,

    5. Note the space required for your kitchen appliances, if free-standing allow for ventilation and finger gaps on each side for easy removal,

    6. Finally check as to what the walls and floors are made of, often the heavy quality range cookers are so heavy the floor may need extra bracing to distribute the weight evenly,

Safety First in the Kitchen:

Safety gogglesThere are many safety factors involved in fitting a kitchen: If you choose to install one of our supply only kitchens always check for electrical cables and water pipes, using a pipe and power detector before drilling in to floors or walls. When using power tools always use an RCD protection device, making certain that all power tool leads are in good condition. Always wear safety equipment.



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