Frank Bertie, Chief Technical Officer at NAPIT, introduces the May 2023 Corrigendum.
On 9th May 2023, IET and BSI announced the release of a Corrigendum to BS 7671:2018+A2:2022. The Corrigendum was published on 15th May 2023 and makes changes to six areas of BS 7671 that came into effect immediately.
There is often a Corrigendum issued after BS 7671: Requirements for Electrical Installations, is published in a new edition or amendment.
What is a Corrigendum?
The word is derived from the Latin word corrigere, which means to correct.
In this case, with regard to BS 7671, it refers to text or information that should be removed and/or alternative wording that should be added within the next release of the printed or electronic version of BS 7671. This will be the second Corrigendum since the publication of BS 7671:2018 in July 2018. The first Corrigendum was published in December 2018.
The Corrigendum is available on the IET website and is free to download, but you’re not permitted to create further electronic copies without permission. The reason for this is that the IET is the joint publisher of BS 7671 with BSI. BSI is the National Standards Body for the UK and is the copyright holder of standards emanating from IEC and CENELEC, where BS 7671 has its origins.
What are the changes and additions?
The Corrigendum contains corrections to BS 7671:2018+A2:2022, and where appropriate, includes the new text in red. Where text has been deleted, strikethroughs are included in red. The Corrigendum changes have been brought together in Table 1, which lists each change and addition item and the page number in the current BS 7671 where it occurs. A brief description of the content follows the regulation number.
When do we have to use the Corrigendum?
It is intended for immediate implementation as of 15th May, and these changes will apply to any new installations designed after this date. If you had an installation designed and in progress prior to 15th May, you can continue and certify to that design. However, if you wish to implement any changes, you must comply with BS 7671 and the Corrigendum in order to meet the initial certification requirements.
Precautions where a particular risk of fire exists
Regulation 422.2 Protected escape routes (as shown in Fig 1), has the following addition to the wording:
Cables or other electrical equipment shall not be installed in a firefighting lobby, shaft or staircase of a protected escape route unless part of:
(i) An essential fire safety or related safety system
(ii) General needs lighting
(iii) Socket-outlets provided for cleaning or maintenance
NOTE 1: Guidance is provided in Appendix 13.
NOTE 2: Generally, this means cables in a firefighting lobby, shaft or staircase of a protected escape route should be limited to lighting and associated accessories, emergency lighting and fire detection and alarm systems, although cables for other safety systems may be necessary.
Hospitals may have special requirements as detailed in Section 710.
This addition has been introduced to provide clarity where cables are installed, cross or otherwise impact a protected escape route. It will require designers to leave clear areas where cables or equipment have to be excluded unless part of the three bullet points.
Protection against transient overvoltages of atmospheric origin or due to switching
Regulation 443.4.1 Transient overvoltages due to the effects of indirect lightning strokes, has the following deletion to the text, not the bullet point, as to do so would impact indents (i) and (ii) which may be referenced elsewhere in BS 7671:
Protection against transient overvoltages shall be provided where the consequence caused by the overvoltage could result in:
(i) Serious injury to, or loss of, human life
Failure of a safety service, as defined in Part 2 Deleted by BS 7671:2018+A2:2022 Corrigendum (May 2023)
(iii) Significant financial or data loss
For all other cases, protection against transient overvoltages shall be provided unless the owner of the installation declares it is not required due to any loss or damage being tolerable and they accept the risk of damage to equipment and any consequential loss.
The reason for the deletion was an unintended consequence, which may have prevented the upgrade of fire detection systems to LD2 specifications in accordance with surge protective device requirements.
Although this wording has been removed, bullet (i) can be interpreted as indicating that a failure of a fire detection system to warn those present of a fire can lead to injury or loss of life.
Notwithstanding bullet (i) a declaration will be required for all other installations should the owner accept the risk of damage. The only area where this will create ambiguity is when the owner, such as a landlord, declares that they accept the risk the tenant would not have any means to be included in this declaration.
The removal of examples in Table 443.2 and in Regulation 5126.96.36.199 note are mostly a housekeeping exercise in line with the removal of the wording in bullet (ii).
Locations containing a bath or a shower
Regulation 701.1 scope has the following deletion:
The particular requirements of this section apply to the electrical installations in locations containing a fixed bath (bath tub,
birthing pool) or shower and to the surrounding zones as described in these regulations. This section does not apply to emergency facilities, such as emergency showers, used in industrial areas or laboratories.
This has been carried out to alleviate an issue within medical environments where equipment is required to monitor mother and child throughout the birthing process. This medical equipment requires socket-outlets, which were installed out of the 3m and subsequently, the 2.5m zone, and extension leads were used to supply power to it.
The Corrigendum has introduced a new Regulation 710.422.2.201, which has the following wording:
Within a healthcare facility, cables or other electrical equipment may be installed in a protected escape route, where:
(i) The healthcare facility complies with Health Technical Memoranda (HTM) and healthcare fire safety guidance
(ii) The particulars of the electrical installation within the protected escape route are documented as part of a fire strategy
NOTE: Specific guidance on fire safety for healthcare premises can be found in relevant Health Technical Memoranda as published by the Department of Health/NHS England. There are equivalent guidance documents in other devolved administrations, e.g. Scotland (SHTM) and Wales (WHTM).
It is intended to provide assistance to healthcare facilities where they have particular difficulties with protected escape routes or moving patients between different departments in an emergency.
When a Corrigendum is introduced, it is not a light decision, and is taken after much discussion, debate, and a thorough consideration of the effects such a change will have on the electrical industry.
With any printed material, and especially with such a technical document of over 600 pages, there are occasions when minor corrections are required. It is important that any corrections to BS 7671 should be provided to the industry in order to maintain the safety requirements for electrical installations.
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