By Penelope, Dec 29 2014 10:33PM
It is anticipated that the new amendment will contain a new regulation 421.1.201:
Within domestic (household) premises, consumer units (fuseboards) and similar switchgear assemblies shall comply with BS EN 614393 and shall:
i. Have their enclosures manufactured from non-combustible material, or
ii. Be enclosed in a cabinet or enclosure contructed of non-combustible material and complying with regulation 132.12.
This will mean that all new consumer units installed in domestic premises after June 30th 2015 will have to have a metal casing.
London Fire Brigade (LFB) have found that approximately 5 house fires per week are caused by Consumer Units (fuseboards), which represents a five-fold increase in just five years. The investigation found that many houses had consumer units with components that were subject to product recalls, while another major cause was poor termination of cable connections.
These faults have caused overheating of the cables which eventually melts and ignites the plastic enclosure. In most cases the problem has been exacerbated by the location/ position of the Consumer Unit under the stairs, where it is often close to flammable material, and because the stairs is normally the only escape route for people stuck upstairs.