Safer Places of Worship

Electricity & Electrical Installations

Electricity can kill and injure people, both through poorly maintained electrical equipment and fires started by faulty appliances and installations.

You need to carry out a risk assessment and make sure that all of your electrical systems, wiring, switchgear, fixed machinery (e.g. organ blower motors) as well as all portable electrical appliances are well designed, in good condition and properly maintained.



It is recommended that fixed electrical installations be inspected and tested every 5 years in accordance with IET guidance and an inspection certificate obtained in every case.

Any work required on the installation should only be undertaken by contractors registered with the National Inspection Council of Electrical Installation Contracting (NICEIC) or the Electrical Contractors Association (ECA).

Portable electrical equipment should be inspected on a regular basis and ensure that worn flexes, broken plugs/sockets etc are replaced immediately.

INDG236 - Maintaining Portable Electrical Equipment in Offices and Other Low – Risk Environments provides further guidance http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg236.pdf

Most licensing authorities require one of the following forms of protection as a condition of either a stage play licence or an entertainment licence, either:

  • every socket outlet circuit should be protected by a residual current device having a rated residual operating current not exceeding 30 mA; or
  • every individual socket outlet should be protected by an integral residual current device having a rated residual operating current not exceeding 30 mA. Advice should be sought from a qualified electrician.

The use of non-fused multi-point adapters must be avoided and it is strongly advised that you have one plug to each socket. If fused multi-point adaptors are used, it must be ensured that their capacity is not exceeded.

Circuits should be switched off at the mains when the building is closed, except those in use over a 24-hour period.

Tungsten filament bulbs should be replaced with fluorescent fittings in areas where there is any possibility of them being close to combustible materials.

Extension Leads/Temporary Wiring should only be utilised as a last resort. All temporary wiring must be disconnected from the mains sockets when not in use, not just turned off. In order to avoid overheating, coiled extension leads and wander leads should be fully extended before being used.

For more information visit www.hse.gov.uk/electricity/index.htm