Business

Engage qualified electricians for wiring tasks

IN THE recent past, I have received calls from Zesco Limited customers from across the country reporting damage of property due to what they believe could be persistent power outage.
The belief is that when there is loadshedding, power returns with a lot of force and damages appliances.
I want customers to understand that there are a number of factors that may lead to damage of property.
One reason is the poor wiring of properties.
Today, I choose to emphasise on the need for property owners to ensure that their properties, be it household or commercial, are wired by a qualified electrician to avoid damage of property or life.
It is a good idea to engage a qualified and registered electrician to assess electrical wiring and offer qualified and cost effective solutions.
In Zambia, the Engineering Institution of Zambia (EIZ) is a statutory professional regulatory body mandated by the EIZ Act Number 17 of 2010 to promote and regulate the profession.
It is a membership-based corporate body established under Section 3 of the EIZ Act.
This simply implies that all EIZ members – engineers, technologists and technicians, among others – must have a valid practicing license.
It is in this respect that Zesco insists that all electricians that are charged with the responsibility of wiring a property must be qualified and registered with EIZ.
A number of property owners in Zambia has risen in recent years, be it home or business structures, and with that, there has been an increase in the number of electrical connections.
Zesco has over a million customers following an increase in population and in property construction.
Unfortunately, reports of electrical incidents arising from poor and sub-standard electrical wiring of customers’ premises are on the rise.
It is for this reason that Zesco has introduced additional requirements on new power supply installations for residential customers and small commercial structures with demand not exceeding 15kVA.
It is against this background that with effect from March 1 this year, additional inspections and tests will be performed to ascertain that electrical wiring of customer premises meets compliance requirements.
The following additional requirements will apply:
• When applying for new supply connection, the customer will be required to attach the copy of the EIZ certificate of the electrician who undertook the wiring. It is a requirement by the EIZ Act, that all persons practicing engineering at all levels should have the appropriate membership with the institution.
• The application will also come with the electrical compliance test certificate issued to the property owner, by the person who inspected and tested the installation. This could be the same person who did the works or another person. In an event that the two are different persons, then both their EIZ membership certificates should be attached to the application form.
• The electrical certificate of installation should be submitted to Zesco together with the application form. No application form will be accepted without attaching a copy of the electrical certificate of installation issued by the accredited person to the customer.
It is important that the condition of your entire electrical system is dependent on the state of your electrical wiring.
Your outlets, light switches and any devices you use in your home all need that wiring system to function properly.
Furthermore, the wiring system as simple as it may seem is quite complex and is dangerous to work with if you do not have professional training.
Apart from your safety, complying with the new Zesco requirement benefits you in that you cut down on costs.
You may think that you are saving by doing electrical work on your own but really, you are paying more than you would pay a contractor.
Take heed and protect your family and property.
Hazel M Zulu
Public relations manager
Zesco Limited
hmzulu@zesco.co.zm



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