This website uses cookies primarily for visitor analytics. Certain pages will ask you to fill in contact details to receive additional information. On these pages you have the option of having the site log your details for future visits. Indicating you want the site to remember your details will place a cookie on your device. To view our full cookie policy, please click here. You can also view it at any time by going to our Contact Us page.


Crabtree: Understanding Part M

Part M of the Building Regulations 2000 (access to and use of buildings) is designed to make it as easy as possible for all persons, regardless of ability / disability, to enter and use buildings and the facilities within them. This requirement applies to the wiring accessories contained in the buildings as much as the buildings themselves, and will apply to all non-domestic new-builds as well as any modifications carried out to existing, non-domestic buildings.

Crabtree has therefore been introducing products throughout its range of wiring accessories to enable compliance with Part M. It is important to realise though, that just using the products themselves does not ensure conformity.

With Crabtree, however, these products do help to make the job of the contractor as easy as possible. For example, a high contrast between a front plate and its corresponding background makes it easier for everyone to find the switches, while in particular providing valuable help for those with limited eyesight. The Crabtree solution also helps save money and resources especially for refurbishments, as there are many upgrade solutions, like replacement power outlet or switch surrounds, which avoid having to replace an entire wiring accessory.

To help the visually impaired, products meeting Part M standards should also clearly indicate whether they are ‘on’ or ‘off’ – Crabtree use red flashes in the switch rocker and neon indicators, the latter proving particularly useful at night or in low-light conditions.

Light switches, which are to be used by the general public, are encouraged to have large push-pads, a feature available on the majority of Crabtree accessories, and they should be at door-handle height. This obviously makes it as easy as possible for those people with a physical disability or visual impairment to locate and activate them, and is backed up by the suggestion that these larger push-pads mean that a fist or elbow would be able to operate them as easily as a finger. Couple this with Seeklight perimeter illumination for light switches, and it becomes easy to identify their location, even in the dark.

The ‘ease-of-operation’ aim that these requirements propose extends to ranges of components using multiple switches. Part M stresses that multiple switched components should always be ‘well separated’. This means that all visitors should find it easier to avoid inadvertently selecting an adjacent control; an example being the highly popular Crabtree Capital switched socket outlets, which can be ordered with outboard rockers – making it virtually impossible to accidentally activate the wrong socket outlet. Rockergrid, which is a modular system of boxes grids, plates and switches, can quickly and easily be assembled to customers’ specifications, enabling several circuits to be controlled from a single location. The switches have large concave rockers with barriers between each one to avoid inadvertent selection of adjacent controls.

The features and requirements laid out by Part M in the vast majority of cases only provide guidelines. This means that the contractor and developer have to ensure that the installations that are carried out meet with these guidelines, and both are expected to use their own judgement to ensure that any components chosen do not fall outside the scope of Part M. It is because of this that Crabtree have ensured that their products can meet with the vast array of variables set out by Part M, making this difficult task as easy as possible.

When it comes to specifying electrical wiring accessories that comply with Part M, there is a wealth of products that meet with the requirements contained in the guidelines. Crabtree, in particular, has a vast and extensive portfolio of products ranging from specially designed switches and sockets to contrasting replacement components. All these features of the Crabtree range are there to benefit the specifier and contractor in making the best choice when it comes to meeting the requirements laid out in Part M.

For further assistance, Crabtree have produced a handy printed guide, together with literature detailing their PartM compliant product range. For your free copy please phone 01543 455030 or circle the reader link card at the back of this magazine.

Contact Details and Archive...

Print this page | E-mail this page

Electrical Products