Informatics Forum - Mains extenders and distribution compliance

The safety regulations concerned with electrical systems installed on or in office furniture.

The mains distribution system in office furniture within the Informatics Forum was constructed to comply with the 'Electricity at Work Regulations'. This is a statutory requirement where failure to comply may lead to prosecution. Electrical systems installed in or on office furniture must meet these regulations.

In order to achieve this our furniture complies with BS6396:2002 (now BS6396:2008) and we would like to maintain this throughout the Forum.

Please do not use your own mains distribution systems in Forum furniture which do not comply with this standard. Whilst these systems may be acceptable for home use, or furniture constructed prior to the current standard, we would respectfully request that you do not circumvent the Forum specification.

Please remove any such systems and should you require extra distribution points, consider re-routing the 6-way block generally kept in the cable tray under each desk, or contact technical support for an extra distribution block via the Support Form.

Background to the standard:

The updated Standard was published mid November 2008 with changes to the title and scope to include educational furniture. The 2002 version was withdrawn.

BS6396 was established to provide a specification for the safe installation and use of electrical systems in or on office furniture, where the electrical system is connected to the mains supply using a 13Amp plug.

BS6396 requires that all sockets installed in accordance with the Standard must be individually fused.

BS6396 restricts the maximum number of sockets fed from a single 13A plug supply to 6 when they are individually fused at 3.15A.

A maximum of 4 sockets may be individually fused at 5A.

Sockets installed in or on office and educational furniture are intended to supply power to equipment whose rating does not exceed 5Amp, the maximum fuse rating allowed in the sockets by BS6396. Most office electrical equipment will run within the 5Amp maximum. This does not include kettles, fan heaters or vacuum cleaners.


Reviewed 26/5/22 dch