Lets not beat about the bush; electricity can kill or severely injure you as well as cause serious damage to property, but only if correct methods of installation and products are not used or maintained correctly.
In this article we’re looking at how you can ensure the person you employ to carryout electrical works in your home or office is qualified to do so
As with most things about Gibraltar we are in a unique position when it comes to our electrical installations. Sited right at the southern most part of Europe yet using the UK standard for electrical installations; BS7671-18th Edition and your “electrician” must be conversant with and understand these wiring regulations.
The problem in Gibraltar is that people will often employ the services of an electrician who may not have trained to the UK standard but has trained to the standards of another European country, for example Spain or Portugal.
Now the standards used in other countries are not necessarily substandard or indeed unsafe – they are just different.
So how do you know if your electrician is qualified?
Well the most obvious way is to simply ask them – if they are qualified then they should be able to produce evidence of that and they certainly shouldn’t be offended by you asking.
UK qualified electricians may have a membership card for an association or organisation from the UK.
Two of the biggest are:
NICEIC – National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting
NAPIT – National Association of Professional Inspectors and Testers
These associations carry out regular checks on works carried out by their members to ensure it is to standard. But be aware neither association will be checking works in Gibraltar.
I’m lead to believe that at the time of writing this article, GibElec are compiling a list of registered electricians for Gibraltar so contact them firstname.lastname@example.org +350 20075957 for more information.
Bear in mind being experienced can, in some way, hold a certain level of “qualification” too and for this there would be no documentary proof or evidence.
Also an electrician trained and qualified in another country may have studied and understands the requirements of the 18th Edition and as such they should be able to complete works to the correct standard.
In both of these cases you can only go on recommendations and testimonials from previous clients. Ask for some contact details; there’s no reason why anyone wouldn’t give you a few contacts for previous clients unless they have something to hide of course….
Before any work commences; you must make sure that whoever you decide to use will provide you with the correct certification. Again don’t be afraid to ask them to show you an example of a certificate they’ve produced for another client, this shouldn’t be a problem if they are legitimate.
Take a look at this sample certificate.
Remember – Cheapest is seldom the best way to go.
Training to become an electrician takes many years and, keeping up to date, requires continued training and professional development, these additional training courses are often quite expensive and involve travel to and from the UK.
Having the correct tools, test equipment and keeping it calibrated is expensive too.
Making sure you have appropriate insurances can be expensive.
All of this has to be paid for in the same way that you are paid for your skills….
If someone is offering you an electrical installation and a cheap price it’s going to be cheap for a reason.
If the electrician you choose is busy then they are busy for a reason – book them in and wait.
We list several electricians here who we know to be qualified and experienced with good customer testimonials.
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