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Hospitality venues advised on outdoor installation safety

06 April 2022

PUBS, RESTAURANTS and other hospitality venues are being urged to make sure electrical installations and electrical equipment for use in outdoor spaces are safe as they enter the spring and summer season.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is working with both representatives from the hospitality industry and local authority enforcement officers to increase awareness and to improve safety standards.

HSE is stressing that venues should arrange for a competent person to carry out electrical installation work, only using lights and heaters specifically designed for outdoor use, and regularly checking equipment for damage or water ingress. The fixed installation and electrical appliances should be inspected, tested and maintained in accordance with the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989.

John Rowe, HSE’s head of operational strategy said, “The hospitality sector will be looking forward to an exciting and busy period, as it prepares for the spring and summer seasons, which will include major events such as the Commonwealth Games and the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Those responsible for outdoor spaces will be planning to make use of them. It is important to make sure electrical equipment is in good condition, particularly as it may have been unused and in storage for a long period of time.”

The information below is for the installation and use of plug-in electrical equipment.  Anyone selecting, using or maintaining such equipment should be competent to do so.

Before installing any outdoor equipment:

  • Consider using extra low voltage or solar equipment to provide a safer installation
  • Only select equipment that is suitable for outdoor use
  • Check that equipment is not damaged particularly if it has been stored from previous use.
  • Ensure that the existing electrical installation is in good condition and compatible with the equipment to be installed.  This will include being able to accommodate the electrical load so that circuits and sockets are not overloaded
  • Ensure that equipment is only connected to a socket protected by a suitable RCD.
  • Ensure that sockets are in good condition, suitable for use outside if appropriate and in a location where they won’t be accessed or damaged by customers.
  • Remove equipment from its packaging before installation
  • Switch off the electrical supply before connecting

During installation and when using the equipment:

  • Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions and retain for future reference
  • Ensure that equipment is installed in locations where it will not be damaged and away from flammable materials and decorations.
  • Check frequently for any damage to equipment and replace failed lamps as appropriate.
  • Always switch off before replacing lamps and use the correct replacement lamp
  • Keep equipment packaging for any future storage.  If equipment is stored ensure that it is not in damp or excessively hot conditions

Any permanent fixed installation of equipment that does not require sockets, and the installation of sockets should be undertaken and thereafter maintained by a competent electrician.