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Electrical safety

Thanks to increasingly high standards of wiring and installation, electrical systems are now generally safer than ever. However, the use of electricity in churches still has the potential to cause considerable damage to property and serious personal injury. Numerous church fires can be attributed to faulty wiring or apparatus, while damaged electrical equipment can cause shock or, in some cases, burns.

There are a number of key things to consider in your church to prevent such incidents occurring.

Take a look at our short video below to learn more:

Avoiding danger from electricity

All fixed electrical systems must be properly designed, installed and maintained by competent electricians in accordance with current standards and good practice. Portable electrical tools or equipment must be suitable for the job in hand and properly maintained to prevent danger.
  • Fixed electrical systems

    • To be inspected and tested AT LEAST once every five years in accordance with the recommendations of the Church Buildings Council
    • The work completed must meet IET Regulations, Guidance Note No. 3 with an electrical installation and conditioning report issued in every case
    • Work must be carried out by a qualified electrician with full scope registration or membership to work on commercial installations and certified with the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting (NICEIC), The Electrical Contractors Association (ECA), The National Association of Professional Inspectors and Testers (NAPIT) or The Electrical Contractors’ Association of Scotland (SELECT). 
    • Electricians or electrical contractors who are only registered to undertake work on domestic installations under Part P of the Building Regulations are not deemed acceptable by Ecclesiastical.
  • Portable appliance testing

    • This is electrical equipment that is connected to the mains by a lead and a plug
    • It will need user checks, visual inspections and appliance testing depending upon the type of equipment used, the risk of it becoming faulty; and how the equipment is constructed
    • The periodicity for inspection and testing will vary. The Health and Safety Executive provides further guidance on their website.
    • Any defective or problematic appliances need to be fixed or removed from the premises
    • Inspection and testing must be carried out by a competent person.

Want to know more? 

More general information about health and safety in churches is available here or you can contact our Risk Management Advice Line by calling 0345 600 7531 (Monday to Friday, 09:00 to 17:00 - excluding Bank Holidays) or email

Ecclesiastical Insurance Group plc (EIG) Reg No 1718196. Ecclesiastical Insurance Office plc (EIO) Reg No 24869. Ecclesiastical Life Ltd (ELL) Reg No 243111. Ecclesiastical Financial Advisory Services Ltd (EFAS) Reg No 2046087. Ecclesiastical Underwriting Management Ltd (EUML) Reg No 2368571. E.I.O. Trustees Ltd Reg No 941199. EdenTree Investment Management Ltd (EIM) Reg No 2519319. All companies are registered in England at Beaufort House, Brunswick Road, Gloucester GL1 1JZ. EIO and ELL are authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Firm Reference Number 113848 (EIO) and 110318 (ELL). EFAS and EIM are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Firm Reference Number 126123 (EFAS) and 527473 (EIM). EUML is an appointed representative of EIO who is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Firm Reference Number 402228.