Q: What do I need to know in terms of electrics when fitting new lights in the garden?

Paul Collins, Head of Technical Services at NICEIC, answers:

“When fitting new lights in the garden, it is vital that all work completed is done in accordance with the latest Electrical Regulations (BS 7671) to guarantee maximum safety. As the lights are being fitted outside, there is the added risk of adverse weather – this increases the risk of injury from an electric shock when handling outdoor electrical equipment.

“Outdoor lighting is at the top of the list for garden installations, with 51% saying they planned to install lighting to their garden last year. Speak to your local NICEIC certified electrical contractor before any outdoor light fixtures are fitted as they can advise the safe and appropriate steps that need to be taken to ensure the work is carried out to the highest standard. Should you employ their services, they will also be able to take care of the appropriate notification to the local building control body (if required) and issue certification once the work is completed.

“You can also speak to your local NICEIC certified contractor about carrying out an electrical inspection, especially if you have any concerns regarding the electrics in your garden. Following this inspection, you will receive an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) that will highlight damage, defects or dangerous conditions in your garden.

“You can search for an NICEIC certified contractor in your area by simply visiting niceic.com and typing in your postcode – but do make sure you get quotes from at least three different NICEIC certified contractors before agreeing to carry out any work.”