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Standard for electrical installations in office and educational furniture connected to the supply by means of a 13A BS1363 plug – Standard UK square pin plug.
BS6396 applies to electrical installations in office and educational furniture connected to the supply by a Standard UK BS1363 square pin 13A fused plug. In addition to the UK, installations complying with BS6396 may also be specified in locations where UK electrical practice and sockets are also used such as the Eire, UAE, Singapore, and Hong Kong. Furniture installations connected to the building mains AC by other means such as underfloor track tap-offs, industrial connectors, or hard wiring are not covered by BS6396 and should be installed in accordance with the BS7671 Requirements for Electrical Installations.


BS6396 Includes furniture for use in educational establishments – Schools – Colleges – Libraries – Universities.
The 2008 edition of BS6396 widened the Scope of the Standard to include Educational furniture. Effectively bringing electrical installations in educational furniture connected by means of a 13A plug under the same rules as commercial office desks and workstations. This change was requested by the British Standard Committee with responsibility for Educational furniture to ensure that students in schools, colleges, universities and training establishments enjoy the same levels of safety as staff in commercial premises. Installations in these establishments connected to the building AC mains by other means will need to comply with BS7671.


BS6396 restricts the number of sockets connected from a single 13A plug to a maximum of 6.
BS6396 restricts the maximum number of sockets fed from a single 13A plug supply to 6 when they are individually protected at 3.15A. These restrictions should not be exceeded as it may lead to overload or excessive earth leakage currents back to the supply. The sockets on BS6396 compliant installations are intended for use with equipment with a maximum current rating of 3A and must not be used for high current appliances such as kettles, vacuum cleaners, and heaters. If equipment exceeding this rating is to be used on the furniture must be connected directly to a dedicated floor or wall 13A supply socket. The cable may be routed through the furniture.

All sockets must be individually fused – 5A for a maximum of 4 sockets – 3.15A for a maximum of 6 sockets.
OE Electrics power modules fitted with our fused UK sockets are fitted with ceramic anti-surge HRC fuses as standard. Replacements must be of the same type and rating and comply with the restrictions as previously indicated. Under no circumstances should glass fuses be used as replacements even though the rating may be the same.


Furniture is to be provided with facilities for cabling and sockets.
For compliance with BS6396 the furniture into which the electrical accessories and cabling are to be installed must comply with relevant structural strength and stability Standards. BS6396 requires that sockets should be mounted in accessible locations free from the risk of liquid spillage, and the safe routing and securing of power cords should be provided.

OE Modules available for both earthed and unearthed Furniture. For guidance please contact our Wakefield office.
Many OE Electrics modules when fitted with UK sockets are supplied as standard with a facility for earthing the furniture metalwork via the module. To aid this some modules, such as POWERUNIT, POWERBOX, come complete with a 250mm long 1.5mm 2 earth bond cable terminated with an M5 ring terminal as standard. Earth leads are available to order for all other modules including those with non UK socket types.  If earth cables are not required please indicate this on placing any order.

OE Electrics can provide a wide range of desktop and under-desk units correctly configured to meet the requirements of BS6396.
All OE Electrics standard modules are available with individually fused UK BS1363 sockets marked with the 3.15A or  5A fuse rating. In addition our new QikFit UK twin UK socket module is fitted with 3.1 A resettable thermal overloads instead of fuses to enable BS6396 compliance.

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BS7671- Installations complying with IEE Wiring Regulations including regulation 543.7 (formally Section 607) Electrical installations which are connected to the supply by any other means than a 13A plug (BS6396 installations) must comply with BS7671. In most instances within the modern office environment, this electrical installation is likely to be an underfloor track. Where the connection is supplying :

more than one work station (i.e. via a Power distribution unit ), or… multiple computers, for example on trading desks then the requirements of regulation 543.7 of BS7671 – Earthing for High Protective Conductor currents will need to be followed.

OE Electrics can provide bespoke solutions in these situations to ensure the operational requirements, as well as those of safety, standards and statutory regulations, are simply and cost-effectively achieved. Power distribution units can be supplied with:

sockets to feed directly to the desktop equipment or, with Wieland connectors to act as a central connection point on clusters of desks; feeding from this  point to power modules on individual desks. All of these units can be fitted with suitable circuit protection to meet regulations and ensure the safety of the installation.

OE Electrics have developed solutions to ease installation and allow the fit out of offices to proceed smoothly without conflict between trades working to deadlines. Where additional earth bonding is required, earthing kits can be developed, manufactured and packaged to meet the needs of the particular requirements. OE Electrics can provide:

  • Technical support – Designs to meet specification and tender requirements
  • Product ranges to meet most requirements simply and effectively
  • Fast turnaround with direct deliveries to site for large projects

For further information on implications of this standard, and how we can provide a solution tailored to your requirements please contact us. E&oe – information provided by OE Electrics is based solely on our interpretation of the Standards and we do not purport to be an authority on the Standards. If Section 607 compliance is required the Standard should be consulted.

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What is BS5753?

BS5733 is the UK standard for the safety certification of electrical accessory products such as OE power modules incorporating  UK power sockets. As well as in the UK,  BS5733 certification is widely accepted in parts of the world that use the standard BS1363 UK socket.

Tests carried out on products under BS5733 include enclosure strength, verification of component ratings and certifications, safe internal wiring and the correct minimum level of electrical insulation for the voltage at which they will be used.

The majority of OE power modules have been independently certified to BS5733 by test laboratories such as Nemko and the certificates can be viewed and downloaded here. BS5733 certification is a core part of the evidence that OE compiles for the CE marking its products.   

Note:  OE  products such as Axxess or Tardis do not have individual BS5733 certification relying instead on the BS5733 certification of the incorporated OE Powerunit module.

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