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Storage in Electrical Rooms

Geoff C

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Hi Guys

Opinions please regards storage in Electrical/Switch rooms. YES or NO?

All I can find is BS7671 states 132.12 

Electrical equipment shall be arranged so as to afford as necessary
(i) sufficient space for the initial installation and later replacement of individual items of electrical equipment
(11) accessibility for operation, inspection, testing, fault detection, maintenance & repair.
and Electricity at Work Regs states 
Regulation 15 (232) Working Space:
(a) to allow people to pull back away from the conductors without hazard
(b) to allow people to pass each other with ease and without hazard.
Nothing to say it is NOT allowed, just indicating that adequate space must be kept, obviously not large ladders that could fall across and induce arcing, not flammables or explosives, so is it allowed with common sense?
thank you :) 
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In a black & white world it would be no, never. In the real world a risk based approach is more sensible. If the room is large enough, lockable metal cabinets are used for potential combustibles and a separation gap from the installation, then as long as it is well managed and nothing very hazardous is introduced then I see no reason not to if no viable alternative is available. Usually these rooms are also fire rated rooms/cupboards with fire doors where I would accept it - the firestopping would need to be up to date too. Smoke detection would be desirable, but not always essential

Care needs to be taken as mixed use of such areas has led to tragedy - the 14 fatality Rosepark Care  Home fire in 2004 started in an electrical cupboard also used for storage: rosepark-care-home-image-1-623125546.jpg

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