All electrical installations deteriorate with age and use. They should therefore be inspected and tested at regular intervals to check whether they are in a satisfactory condition for continued use. Such safety checks are commonly referred to as ‘periodic inspection and testing’. A periodic inspection will:
Reveal if any of your electrical circuits or equipment are overloaded.
Find any potential electric shock risks and fire hazards.
Identify any defective electrical work.
Highlight any lack of earthing or bonding.
Tests are also carried out on wiring and fixed electrical equipment to check that they are safe. A schedule of circuits is also provided, which is invaluable for a property.
Your electrics should be inspected and tested every:
5 year for businesses, 3 years for Industrial
10 years for an owner-occupied home
5 years for a rented home.
When a property is being prepared for letting.
Before selling a property or buying a previously-occupied property.
Periodic inspection and testing should be carried out only by electrically competent persons, such as registered electricians. They will check the condition of the electrics against the UK standard for the safety of electrical installations, BS 7671 – Requirements for Electrical Installations (IET Wiring Regulations). The inspection takes into account all the relevant circumstances and checks on:
The adequacy of earthing and bonding.
The suitability of the switchgear and control gear.
The serviceability of switches, sockets and lighting fittings. The type of wiring system and its condition.
Sockets that may be used to supply portable electrical equipment for use outdoors, making sure they are protected by a suitable residual current device (RCD).
The presence of adequate identification and notices.
The extent of any wear and tear, damage or other deterioration.
Any changes in the use of the premises that have led to, or may lead to, unsafe conditions.
The competent person will then issue an Electrical Installation Condition Report detailing any observed damage, deterioration, defects, dangerous conditions and any non-compliances with the present-day safety standard that might give rise to danger.
If anything dangerous or potentially dangerous is found, the overall condition of the electrical installation will be declared to be ‘unsatisfactory’, meaning that remedial action is required without delay to remove the risks to those in the premises.
An agreement can be reached between the client and the electrician in relation to percentage testing such as 25% per year. The objective is to, ” determine so far as reasonably practicable, whether the installation is in a satisfactory condition for continued service”. For example if half of the 25% tested was classified as unsatisfactory, a decision should be considered as to condition of the remaining 75%.
The Law – The Electricity at Work Act states that that it is statutory to follow the guidelines of BS7671 Wiring Regulations of which EICR is recommended.
Failure to comply with The Electricity at Work Act renders the company liable under HSE laws and can incur large fines and imprisonment. A company is not negligent if they adhere to BS7671.
Direct Voice and Data can carry out an Electrical Installation Condition Report with minimum disruption to your business, with testing being undertaken outside of business hours if required.