In the United Kingdom, all electrical works in a building have to be conducted by certified persons. The other alternative is for the electrical works to be certified upon completion to ensure that it complies with the country’s regulations. Guidelines covering the installation of electrical sockets and switches are available in the Building Regulation Part M, and we will cover these regulations in this piece.
How high should light switches be in the UK?
Light switches that are meant to be used by the general public have to be aligned horizontally with the door handles and should be placed at a height of 900 mm to 1100 mm above the floor level. Important points to consider when complying with this rule are the ease of access, visibility, and ease of operation. For better visibility, the switches should be in a colour that contrasts that of the associated wall. It is also recommended that the light switches be developed with large push pads. The Disabled Living Foundation especially recommends that homeowners use larger push pads, since these can easily be operated with the elbow or fist.
In places where light switches cannot be installed, such as bathrooms, pull cords can be used instead. These should be fitted with 50 mm bangles that will give users a good grip. Again, these pull cords need to be fitted at a height of between 900 mm and 1100 mm above the floor level. To avoid inconveniences in emergencies, the lighting pull cords must be in a colour that contrasts the rest of the room.
What height should switches be?
In the UK Building Regulations Part M, homeowners are required to mount electrical switches in positions that are easily reachable. While there is no specified height for light switches, the code suggests that they should be placed between 750 mm and 1200 cm above the floor level. If the switch is meant to be used for permanently wired appliances, the height requirement will be between 400 mm and 1200 mm, but a higher level may be required for specific appliances.
Here is a summary of the requirements for specific types of electrical switches:
• Lift call buttons should be installed at a height of 900 mm to 1100 mm.
• Meter indicators should be fitted at a height of 1200 mm to 1400 mm.
• Telephone outlets should be installed at a height of 400 mm to 1100 mm.
• TV aerial sockets need to be positioned at a height of between 400 mm to 1000 mm.
To make the switches accessible to people with wheelchairs, you should install the switches at least 350 mm from the corners. When following these guidelines, it is essential to consider the safety of the inhabitants of the house. For example, if a child might trip over the electrical cords, you should fit the sockets at a lower position.
This rule applies to new buildings, so replacement switches in older buildings don’t need to follow the code. Also, when building an extension to a house that didn’t previously comply with Part M, you will not be required to follow the rule. At the same time, you should not make the height of the switches less satisfactory than it was before. If you wish, you can still follow the new code for switches height when building extensions or replacing switches.
The building regulations do not need to be followed in uninhabited areas such as the utility rooms and garages. However, you should remember that installing the switches too close to the worktop surface will force you to bend the cords, and this will lead to damage of the cords. Ideally, the switches should be placed at least 100 mm above the worktop surface. Placing the cords sufficiently above the floor level will also prevent water damage when cleaning the room.
What is the standard height for light switches?
Most light switches in the UK are installed at a height of about 1000 mm from the floor level. This is also the most common height for door handles.
What is the maximum height of a light switch?
According to the guidelines included in the Building Regulation Part M, the maximum height of a light switch is 1100 mm.