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ElectricSafe have produced a leaflet aimed at consumers explaining why a competent person should be sought to perform electrical work in the home and how you can use the register to find someone suitable for the job. You can download a PDF copy of this leaflet from here.

Traditionally house builders rarely seem to install enough mains sockets to satisfy the gadgetry needs of your average family. My granny had very few mains-driven mod-cons and could cope quite happily with only one or two sockets per room, even going so far as to diligently switch them all off at night, however for most of us a couple of outlets just isn’t going to cut the mustard, or indeed power the TV, PlayStation, DVD, DigiBox, mobile charger, floor lamp and laptop. At least, not simultaneously... unless you start hanging multi-way adaptors off your wall sockets.

I get asked about whether these things are safe or not and the short answer is yes, but only if used properly. So let’s have a closer look at what’s out there and where things can go wrong...

Thinking of installing a domestic burglar alarm?

Firstly, what is it for? Strange question I know, but generally people install these things to protect the house when they're not present, or so they can sleep easier at night without worrying that every bump and bang is someone wanting to get their hands on the family jewels (so to speak), or both.

Shopping around for the best energy deal should be fairly simple and is an effective way of checking you are getting value for money, and if you find you're not, you should be able to save yourself a wad of cash every year by switching your tariff or supplier. A lot of people are put off because they believe it will be a hassle, and I'm certainly not going to make any guarantees against cock-ups by the big boys, however the energy companies should manage the switch for you without any engineer visits or the juice being cut off!

So what is Part P?

Building regulations Part P came into effect on 1st January 2005 and concerns the safety of electrical installation work in dwellings in England and Wales. Anybody performing electrical work in the home should ensure they conform to this and to other relevant Approved Documents such as Part A (Structure), Part B (Fire Safety), Part L (Conservation of Fuel and Power), etc. A full list of the Approved Documents can be found and printed here: