BS7671 Amendment 1: Key Changes and Implications for Electricians


The British Standard BS7671, representing the national standard for electrical installations in the United Kingdom, underwent a significant update with its 2023 Corrigendum. This amendment, officially known as BS7671:2018+A2:2022, introduced changes aimed at enhancing safety and efficiency in electrical installations. In this article, we delve into the key modifications and their impact on electricians and the industry at large.

1. Understanding the Corrigendum

A corrigendum, derived from the Latin ‘corrigere’, meaning ‘to correct’, addresses errors and updates in standards. BS7671, being a comprehensive and complex standard, occasionally requires such corrections to ensure its relevance and accuracy​​.

2. Major Areas of Change

The 2023 Corrigendum brought significant alterations in four main areas:

  • Section 422: Protected Escape Routes
  • Section 443: Overvoltage Protection
  • Section 701: Birthing Pools
  • Section 710: Protected Escape Routes in Medical Locations​.

3. Section 422 – Protected Escape Routes

The amendment in Section 422 concerns the installation of electrical systems in protected escape routes. Initially, the installation of cables and other electrical equipment in these routes was restricted unless they were part of essential safety systems, general lighting, or socket-outlets for maintenance. The corrigendum specifically delineates the types of protected escape routes where wiring systems are disallowed, such as firefighting lobbies, shafts, or staircases. However, it permits wiring systems within protected corridors, subject to safety requirements like flame propagation resistance and limited smoke production​​.

4. Section 443 – Overvoltage Protection

Section 443 addresses the overvoltage protection requirements. Initially, these regulations were considered overly complex and prescriptive, especially for additions and alterations to existing installations. The amendment simplifies the process by removing the risk assessment method and revising the requirements for overvoltage protection to be less restrictive, especially for critical safety services like smoke alarms in domestic premises. This change aims to balance safety with practicality and cost-effectiveness​​.

5. Section 701 – Birthing Pools

The Corrigendum removes birthing pools from the scope of Section 701. This change addresses the unintended consequence of the previous edition, which prohibited the installation of socket-outlets needed for medical electrical equipment in rooms with birthing pools. The amendment acknowledges the necessity of having socket-outlets close to birthing pools for functional and safety reasons​​.

6. Section 710 – Protected Escape Routes in Medical Locations

The Corrigendum also impacts the design of electrical installations in healthcare facilities, particularly regarding protected escape routes. It provides provisions for the installation of cables and electrical equipment in these routes under specific circumstances and in compliance with Health Technical Memoranda (HTM) and healthcare fire safety guidance. This change is especially relevant for hospitals employing progressive horizontal evacuation strategies​​.

Implications for Electricians

These changes underscore the importance of staying updated with the latest standards and regulations. Electricians need to familiarize themselves with these amendments to ensure compliance and safety in their installations. The modifications in overvoltage protection, for instance, demand a reevaluation of safety measures in both new and existing installations. Moreover, the alterations in regulations for protected escape routes and birthing pools will influence the design and execution of electrical systems in both residential and healthcare settings.


The BS7671 Amendment 1 is more than a set of technical updates; it represents an evolving understanding of safety and efficiency in electrical installations. By adhering to these updated standards, electricians can ensure that their work not only complies with regulations but also contributes to the overall safety and functionality of electrical installations in diverse environments.

Source: BS7671 Amendment 1 Overview​.

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