Factsheet 27 - The Plugs and Sockets etc. (Safety) Regulations 1994

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The Plugs and Sockets etc. (Safety) Regulations 1994

(Consumer Protection Act 1987)

Commencement: 

The Plugs and Sockets (Safety) Regulations, Parts I & III came into force on 3 August 1994.

Part II of these regulations came into force on 1st February 1995.

Scope: 

The Regulations, acting as secondary legislation under the Consumer Protection Act 1987 (the 'Act'), relate to the supply of any plugs, sockets, adapters or fuses intended for domestic use, with a working voltage of not less than 200 volts, and also the supply of any appliance which has a plug fitted.

Because the Regulations operate with the same definition of 'supplier' as the Act, then letting agents and landlords are liable as suppliers.  The Regulations impose the obligation on the supplier of such goods to ensure that they are 'safe', so that there is no risk of death or personal injury to humans or pets, or risk of damage to property.

The Regulations are not retrospective but any relevant electrical equipment included in a new tenancy AFTER the commencement dates of these Regulations would constitute a new 'supply' and hence would need to be compliant.

The Regulations require:

Part I

  • that where any plug, socket or adapter is supplied which is intended for domestic use, that it complies with the appropriate current standard.  This means that they must conform to the relevant British Standards (i.e. BS1363) or approved alternatives.  British Standard BS1363 covers 13 Amp fused plugs, switched and unswitched sockets.  The standard now requires that the live and neutral pins on plugs are part insulated so as to prevent shocks when removing plugs from sockets.
  • that plugs be fitted with a fuse that conforms to BS1362, i.e. the standard for general purpose fuses for domestic or similar purposes.  The fuses also need to be rated correctly either in accordance with the appliance manufacturers instructions or to BS1362.
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