Electrical wiring in churches

15 November 2018

Thanks to increasingly high standards of wiring and installation, electrical systems are now generally safer than ever. However, the use of electricity in churches still has the potential to cause considerable damage to property and serious personal injury.

Numerous church fires can be attributed to faulty wiring or apparatus, while damaged electrical equipment can cause shock or, in some cases, burns. 
 
There are a number of key things to consider in your church to prevent such incidents occurring. 

Avoiding danger from electricity

All fixed electrical systems must be properly designed, installed and maintained by competent electricians in accordance with current standards and good practice. Portable electrical tools or equipment must be suitable for the job in hand and properly maintained to prevent danger. 

Fixed electrical systems
  • To be inspected and tested AT LEAST once every five years.
  • The work completed must meet ETCI/NSAI/CRU Regulations, with an electrical installation condition report issued in every case
  • Work must be carried out by a qualified electrician.
Portable appliance testing
  • This is electrical equipment that is connected to the mains by a lead and a plug 
  • It will need 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
  • The period between inspections will vary according to the use of the appliances. The Health and Safety Authority provides further guidance on their website
  • Any defective or problematic appliances need to be repaired or removed from the premises
  • Inspection and testing must be carried out by a competent person.