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Electrical professionals warned to steer clear of fake IET Wiring Regs

The Institution of Engineering and Technology has warned electrical professionals of the existence of counterfeit copies of the new IET Wiring Regulations. The fake copies contain incorrect information which could lead to dangerous installations, the IET said.

The new version of the regulations, BS 7671: 2018, known as the 18th edition, was published in July and comes into force in January, so demand for the document is currently at its peak. Counterfeit PDFs were discovered circulating and being sold on social media in mid-September.

The IET is warning that to follow misinformation in these fake copies could be “devastating for electrical professionals and the public at large” – with missing or corrupted information potentially leading to unsafe work being carried out.

IET head of technical regulations Mark Coles said: “The counterfeit PDF copies of BS 7671:2018 we have seen initially look very convincing, but are sprinkled with errors which can lead to dangerous practices. Unless you know the origin of the document how can you rely on it?”

The existence of counterfeit versions first came to light in 2011 following the publication of BS 7671: 2008 Amendment 1, when a consignment of the regulations was discovered in a shipping container from eastern Europe. Their significance was recognised by a port employee who was formerly an electrician. The document appeared to have been scanned from an original, but in the process some of the text had got out of alignment, which could be particularly misleading in tables.

Mr Coles said the latest fake version appeared to be quite a good scan, which seemed to be compiled from some pages of a draft for public comment and others from an official online version. “But it doesn’t look like the official version and again it’s not exactly right,” he said. The fake document is in a format of which no official PDF version exists.

For physical copies, the IET introduced a hologram with its logo and the word “GENUINE” on the inside front cover with the Third Amendment in 2015, but even this is not foolproof.

Mr Coles said: “My advice to people looking to buy a copy of any IET publication would be to buy it directly from the IET if they are in any doubt about the supplier they are making a purchase from, or to consult our list of validated suppliers in the UK.”

A list of suppliers can be found on the IET website at https://electrical.theiet.org/bs-7671/counterfeit-wiring-regulations/?origin=pr

Electronic access to BS 7671:2018 is provided by the IET, through the Wiring Regulations Online platform, and BSI, through British Standards Online.

The IET is a charity and said that all proceeds from genuine books go back into the organisation and the electrical industry.