Electrical installations should be regularly inspected and tested to ensure that they are safe to use. As with anything, electrical installations are subject to wear and tear and can deteriorate over time. Safety checks on electrical installations are vital to keep your home or business premises safe, and to prevent injury or fire.
Periodic inspection and testing – as these safety checks are known – must be carried out by a registered and approved electrician who will produce an Electrical Condition Report (EICR) at the end of it. This shows that the electrical installations meet the required British standard for safety, BS7671.
The inspection should be carried out every ten years for a house which is occupied by its owner and every five years for rented accommodation. But if you’re planning to buy, sell or let a property, you should have one carried out.
Businesses should arrange for inspection and testing to be undertaken at their premises every five years.
The inspection should include tests on wiring and fixed electrical equipment. It will look at areas such as the switchgear and controlgear, the switches, sockets and light fittings, and the wiring system.
It will take note of any changes of use at the premises that have affected the safety risk, as well as the suitability of identification and signage.
What is an Electrical Condition Report (EICR)?
This will be produced at the end of the inspection and will give detailed information on the condition of the electrics in the property.
It will include any damage, defects or deterioration within the electrical installations. Electric shock and fire risks will be identified, along with overloading of circuits or equipment, and a lack of earthing or bonding. Faulty or incorrect electrical work will also be highlighted.
The report will also indicate any areas that do not comply with British safety standards. Should anything dangerous be found, the electrical installation will be deemed unsatisfactory and action will be required to eradicate the risks from the property.
Read more about safety checks on electrical installations here