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Impact of The Changes in the 18th Edition BS 7671:2018 IET Wiring Regulations

On the Lightning Protection and Surge Protection Industry

The awareness of surge protection, its uses and benefits have been something of a ‘slow burn’ in the UK and even 12 years on from the release of BS EN 62305 surge protection can often be seen as something of a ‘dark art’.
One of the key changes in the 18th Edition will be the requirement for surge protection devices (SPDs). This is a real seed change in the industry in the UK with the emphasis moving from a point of view of ’are they really required?’” to the new view which is very much ’prove you don’t need them!.
The 17th Edition contained a fairly lengthy and somewhat complicated risk assessment process including “AQ criteria” and “ceraunic levels” to establish whether SPDs were required or not. This is no longer included in the 18th Edition.  Instead in Section 443 we have some very definitive criteria, which, if appropriate and applicable to your project, completely removes the requirement to carry out a risk assessment.

This Section Now States:

“Protection against transient over voltages shall be provided where the consequence caused by overvoltage effects:
(a)        results in serious injury to, or loss of, human life, or
(b)        results in interruption of public services and/or damage to cultural heritage,
(c)        results in interruption of commercial or industrial activity, or
(d)        affects a large number of collocated individuals”.

This article has been extracted from "Impact of the changes in the 18th Edition IET Wiring Regulations on the Lightning Protection and Surge Protection Industry." by Sean Passant.

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