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Event Planning: Electrical Installations and Lighting

If you need a temporary supply of electricity for your event, you need to make sure that:

  • All the wiring must be installed by a suitably competent electrician in a safe manner who should give you a written certificate to prove that this has been done
  • That the supply is protected by suitable earth fault device (Residual Circuit Breaker (RCB) of maximum 30 amp per trip)
  • There are the correct types of connectors for external conditions, cables should be the correct standard with no damage to the insulation
  • Supply cables must be positioned safely, to ensure that they will not suffer physical damage e.g. through door openings, across surface of walkways/roads
  • Cables should be positioned to ensure they do not cause trip or other hazard
  • The safety standard of the installation should be at least that of the current 17th Edition of IEE Wiring Regulations
  • Any generator should have a certificate with it to show that it is electrically safe.  A safety fence must surround the working parts of the generator.


Any electrical equipment used at the event must be in a safe condition and be suitable for that type of use (such as in the open air where it may be subject to wet weather).  Rubber matting should be used to protect cables from weather and to prevent tripping.

Electricity can cause serious injury or death to performers, workers or members of the public if the installation is faulty or not properly managed.

When designing an installation Consider...

  • The location of any existing overhead power lines or buried cables
  • The total power requirements for the site
  • Access to a network power supply
  • The use of generators
  • Earthing
  • Positioning of temporary overhead or underground cables
  • The location of the stage(s)
  • The main isolators controlling the electrical supplies to stage lighting, sound, special effects, emergency lighting and lifting equipment
  • The location of mixer positions
  • Special power supplies for certain equipment (example: imported from US)
  • Power supplies required for portable tools etc
  • The electrical requirements for emergency lighting and exit signs
  • Power supplies for catering, first-aid posts, control room

All electrical installations and equipment must comply with the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989.

A temporary electrical installation report should be completed before any event commences.