Outdoor Electrical Safety in Hospitality Venues

Outdoor Electrical Safety in Hospitality Venues

Businesses such as pubs, restaurants, cafés and hotels using outdoor space must ensure that indoor and outdoor appliances are safe. These businesses have a duty to ensure that electrical equipment is compatible with the fixed installation and that it is properly installed and maintained by a competent person.

Your electrical installation including sockets

Any permanent fixed installation of equipment that does not require sockets, and the installation of sockets should be undertaken and thereafter maintained by a competent electrician. To demonstrate compliance with this requirement we advise the following:

  • Check that your electrical installation has been inspected less than 5 years ago, or more recently if there has been a change of occupancy. The electrician may have specified a different more frequent inspection regime due to the system, age or condition at the last inspection, so check your electrical certificate to be sure.



  • Keep certificates and records of work undertaken by electricians.


  • Undertake and keep a record of visual checks on outside electrical installations for damage and defects caused by weather, physical abrasion and or gnawing by rodents and wildlife.


  • Ensure those in control are trained and competent to know how to isolate equipment or parts of the installation to reduce danger as soon as practicably possible where defects or damage is identified.


  • Ensure emergency procedures are in place to keep customers and staff away from any electrical danger where it is not safe or able to be isolated.


Before installing any outdoor plug-in equipment:

  • Consider using extra low voltage or solar equipment to provide a safer installation.
  • Only select equipment that is suitable for outdoor use (usually rated minimum IP44)
  • Check that equipment is not damaged particularly if it has been in storage.
  • Ensure that the existing electrical installation is in good condition and compatible with the equipment to be installed.  This will include being able to accommodate the electrical load so that circuits and sockets are not overloaded.
  • Ensure that equipment is only connected to a socket protected by a suitable RCD.
  • Ensure that sockets are in good condition, suitable for use outside if appropriate and in a location where they won’t be accessed or damaged by customers.
  • Remove equipment from its packaging before installation
  • Switch off the electrical supply before connecting

During installation and when using the equipment:

  • Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions and keep safe for future reference
  • Ensure that equipment is installed in locations where it will not be damaged and away from flammable materials and decorations.
  • Check frequently for damage to equipment and replace failed lamps as appropriate.
  • Always switch off before replacing lamps and use the correct replacement lamp
  • Keep equipment packaging for any future storage.  If equipment is stored ensure that it is not in damp or excessively hot conditions