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Legislation

BS6396:2008 Electrical Systems in Office & Educational Furniture

BS6396 applies to electrical installations in office and educational furniture connected to the supply by a 13A plug. Most commonly this is via an outlet within a floorbox or a perimeter trunking system. installations connected by other means such as underfloor track tap-offs, Industrial connectors or hard wiring should be installed in accordance with BS7671 - Requirements for Electrical installations. To meet the requirements of BS6396 the points listed below must be followed when specifying electrical systems within office or educational furniture. Any electrical system being fed from one 13 Amp UK plug must not consist of more than;

  • Six sockets if individually fused at 3.15 Amps each
  • Four sockets if individually fused at 5 Amps each

These restrictions are to ensure that no equipment rated higher than 5 Amps can be plugged into the electrical system, minimising the risk of overloads or excessive earth leakage currents back to the supply. Even if surge protectors, RCBOs etc. are fitted you still need to individually fuse each socket at 3.15 Amps or 5 Amps.

However, sometimes the provision for higher rated office equipment is necessary. If equipment such as laser printers require a supply greater than 5 Amps they must be connected directly to their own 13A supply socket.

With new types of technology and equipment becoming common placed within the office environment never has the correct specification of electrical systems been so important.

BS1363 refers to a 13amp socket outlet.