Home     Using Mains Electricity on Site                                                                                   

Below is a copy of the most up to date 'green paper' issued by Head Office about using mains electric on sites.  

Green Paper number: 1.32 (version 2) - Guidelines on Electrical Safety at Region/DA/Section Meets

When organising Region/DA/Section meets, guidelines on electrical safety must be adhered to.   Below is a full guide.
 

Introduction:  The main emphasis for all Club Meets and events is for members to have fun while camping as safely as possible.   Camping is an enjoyable leisure activity but if electrical appliances are in use there are some sensible precautions that should be taken to make sure everyone is protected from avoidable accidents.


General Advice

1)   If possible use a low voltage system (12/24v) designed for outdoor use to reduce the risk to stewards and members.

2)   Water and electricity do not mix.  Take extreme care when using any electrical equipment in a marquee or tent.

3)   Remember your marquee or tent may leak and may well suffer with condensation.

4)   Hook-up equipment designed for outdoor use (often called 'proprietary equipment' is built to resist damp conditions, but it is normally
      only fully effective when appliance plugs are NOT inserted and covers are over the sockets.

5)   Most domestic electrical appliances are not designed for use outside or in tents.

6)   Electricity supply cables and leads can present a trip hazard so they should not cross walkways or exits, especially those designated
      as emergency exits.  Where possible, cables should be routed around the edge of the marquee or tent.

7)   Always ensure a suitably equiped first aid kit is available.  The steward should know and be familiar with emergency procedures.

8)   A suitable fire extinguisher should be available and maintained in good working order and located at the main emergency exit.
 

Specific advice for using electricity in marquees and tents

1)   Ensure at lease two exits are maintained for emergency use.  They must be clearly marked or made known to everyone using the
      marquee or tent.

2)   If a generator supplies electricity, a suitable RCD protection device must be used.  The generator must be correctly earthed so the
      RCD works properly.

3)   Socket outlets in the marquee or tent must have an IP44 rating (splash-proof).  Ideally, socket outlets should be splash-proof when
      the plug is in the socket, which normally means the lid closes over the top of the plug.  All socket outlets must be protected by a
      30mA RCD, in addition to any RCD on the generator.

4)   Lighting and associated switches must again be IP44 rated.  This will normally mean using enclosed fluorescent fittings protected
      by a 30mA RCD.

5)   Emergency lighting is recommended at each of the designated emergency exits.  Where 230V emergency lighting with battery
      back-up is available this must be connected to the lighting circuit.

6)   All connecting cables, including any extension cables, should have splash-proof connections.

7)   Exterior lights such as floodlights must be at least 2.5m from the floor and IP44 rated.   Decorative lighting chains should also have
      an IP44 rating, be fixed so water cannot get inside and be securely attached to the structure or support.   The load of the light fittings
      must not be carried by the supply cable.

8)   Lighting mounted less than 2.5m above floor level or accessible to people or animals should be firmly fixed or guarded to prevent
      risk of injury or fire. 

9)   Insulation-piercing lamp holders (such as those used with strings of fairy lights) should not be used unless the cables and lamp
      holders are compatible with each other and the lamp holders are non-removable once fitted to the cable.

10)   Lighting should not be fixed to, or close to, any material that may catch fire.

11)   If any plugs are left in damp conditions, such as overnight in a marquee or tent, they should be wiped dry before being plugged in.
 

Remember

Use only proprietory hook-up equipment with safety devices, including RCDs, and an IP rating of 44 or greater.

Keep hook-up equipment off the ground and close to the appliances.

Always visually inspect electrical equipment before use.

Test the operation of all RCD devices before plugging any appliances in.

Consider having the electrical equipment tested at regular intervals including Portable Appliance Testing (PAT).  Further advice is
available from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Booklet HSG107.

Use electrical equipment only when necessary, preferably when someone is present.  Otherwise, switch it off and remove plugs,
ensuring covers are over all sockets.

Be prepared to stop using electricity if conditions in the marquee or tent are damp.

NEVER use a household extension cable, even with an RCD plug, instead of proprietory hook-up equipment.

Do NOT use household plug adaptors and only use one appliance per socket.

Do NOT allow children to be involved in the installation of electrical equipment.


If in doubt about the safety or suitability of your equipment get advice from a qualified electrician.

For further information see the Club's Date Sheet on Electricity or contact the Club's Technical Department on 024 7647 5282