Home Opinion Wiring Regs: 18th Edition update

Wiring Regs: 18th Edition update

PEW Editor, Michael Connolly addresses the 18th Edition Wiring Regs coming into play.

With faint memories of the work Christmas party painfully still existing at the back of your mind (My advice: always avoid shots past midnight) I am confident you are as glad as I am to be back at work again. In all seriousness, the above title relates, of course, to the new 18th Edition Regulations that have now taken full effect. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you will be fully aware of the new regulations that the details of which, I’m sure, you have been bombarded with in the last year or so.

With the regulations in force at the start of January, further requirements are now in place that includes the need to avoid risk of entanglement not just at fire exits but all areas. Darren Staniforth, Technical Development Manager, NICEIC explains: “The new proposed regulation (521.10.202) does not just apply to cables in escape routes, but any cable that is subject to premature collapse. Premature collapse may occur for a number of reasons, but typically heat from the fire can cause plastic fixings to fail.” Once again, this presents a great opportunity for the wholesalers to take advantage of the contractors need for a specific solution – the more knowledge, POS material and stock you have can help increase those pull-through sales. Far be it for me to lecture the pros on adhering to regulations, I’m sure you are all very aware of the ramifications of not adhering to the new rules and are in prime positon to make the most of the situation and boost those all-important sales.

In other news, I recently attended one of four regional forums with the Electrical Distributors’ association at Lux Live in London. Not such interesting news that I attended, however the topics discussed were certainly an eye-opener for me, a relative newcomer to the industry. As the forum took place at the Excel, the same venue as Lux Live, it was fitting that Steve Davies, CEO at the Lighting Industry Association (LIA) talked about its recent activity to aid wholesalers.

By its own admission, the trade association had come up against a lot of criticism in regards to its apparent lack of protection for wholesalers against the influx of substandard lighting products on the market. In response to this criticism, the LIA has drawn attention to the amount of testing at its laboratory, with testing taking place on over 200 lighting standards in safety and performance including BSi Kitemark and UL. All Lia members were selected to provide one product at random to be tested, this included wholesalers that are members, and if standards weren’t met these were raised with the member and if action was not taken within reasonable time the membership was withdrawn. What’s more, the LIA also tested lighting products selling for low prices on retail sites such as Amazon, finding that multiple products listed did not meet even basic safety standards. These safety issued were reported to trading standards and the products removed from the sites.

It’s good to see the LIA taking an active role in protecting the supply chain and end-user by removing the potentially harmful products from the market. Hopefully this can help push the message to your customers that ultimately, they will be paying much heavier price when opting for the impossibly cheap lighting products over their local reliable, knowledgeable wholesaler that ensures its products meet all standards and regulations across the board.

On a side note, PEW will now be delivered six times a year, so look out for our March/April issue on your desk soon.

Have a great few months and enjoy the issue.

Michael Connolly

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