Electrical Installation, Testing and Maintenance in the Borders/Lanarkshire area

17th Edition Qualified


Metal Electrical Fittings

Any metal electrical fitting can be a hazard if not correctly installed.

The obvious problem is that the metal may become ‘live’ if a fault develops.  Normally this fault would ‘blow a fuse’ and make the light safe to touch, but the light would stop working.

Unfortunately in many houses the wiring system is not complete and so it is unsafe for metal light fittings, switches and sockets to be used because the fuse or circuit breaker would not ‘blow’ or will take too long to react.

When this type of light fitting or any metal switches or sockets are fitted they must be tested by a competent electrician who has the knowledge and equipment to ensure safety.  He will provide a certificate based on the latest British Standard which will include the safety test results.  This will give confidence that the system is safe and becomes a permanent record that can be consulted when any future changes are considered.

This light fitting looks safe. Unfortunately problems can arise when unskilled persons connect a light fitting. In this case the danger was more severe as a metal light fitting was used.



When the wiring was exposed for testing a dangerous condition was found. The green and yellow earth wire from the fitting has been joined to a permanently live wire and in fact the metal fitting was live. Any person touching this standing on a damp floor could be electrocuted.



The problem had been made worse because the house was wired in non-standard colours but in spite of this the light turned on and off normally.  This problem was only found when an electrical inspection was carried out after the house was sold. These inspections should be done at least every ten years as problems will accumulate as the years go by and alterations are made.


BM Electrical - 1 Mackenzie Gardens - Dolphinton - West Linton - Peeblesshire - EH46 7HS
 Tel: 07766 051 672   Email: bmelectech@talktalk.net