All electrical installations will deteriorate with use and age. This means that they should be tested and inspected at regular intervals to ensure that they remain in a satisfactory condition to enable continued use.
These safety checks are often referred to as a “periodic inspection and testing” and once completed, you will be issued with an Electrical Installation and Condition Report or EICR.
There are a number of important reasons for a periodic inspection. It will reveal if there are electrical equipment or circuits that are overloaded, if there are any potential fire hazards or electric shock risks.
During the inspection, any defective electrical work will be identified, and any lack of bonding or earthing will be highlighted. Tests will also be performed on fixed electrical equipment and wiring to check that everything is safe.
A periodic inspection should be performed every ten years for owner occupied homes, every five years for rental homes, three years for caravans and annually for swimming pools.
Periodic inspections should also be carried out every time a property is being made ready for letting or if you’re selling or buying a previously occupied property.
Any periodic inspections and testing should only be carried out by an electrically competent person. A professional electrician will check the current condition of your electrics against the latest UK standards for the safety of electrical installations.
During the inspection, the electrician will check the adequacy of bonding and earthing, and examine the suitability of your switchgear and control gear.
For example, you may have an old fuse box that has cast iron switches, a wooden back or a mix of both that need to be replaced.
The electrician will also check the serviceability of sockets, light fittings, and switches.
These items may need to be updated or replaced, such as round light switches, black switches, skirting board mounted sockets, older round pin sockets or cables with a fabric coating that are hanging from your ceiling roses to your light fittings.
It is also important that the condition and type of your wiring system is checked.
For example, you may have cables that are coated in black rubber that were actually phased out during the 1960s. Older properties may have cables coated in fabric or lead that are even older and need to be upgraded to the longer lasting PVC used in modern cables.
Once the inspection has been completed, the competent person will issue the Electrical Installation Condition Report.
This will detail any observed deterioration, damage, dangerous conditions, defects or any non compliances with the current safety standards that could pose a threat.
If there is anything potentially dangerous or hazardous, the overall condition of your electrical installation will be declared “unsatisfactory.” This will mean remedial action will be required immediately to remove any of the risks that could harm the property occupants.
If you are in need of an EICR, you can rest assured that all our recommended electricians are equipped to help you.
They can not only perform the inspection necessary for the EICR but also conduct any necessary repairs to ensure that your property is free of hazardous electrics.
If you’d like to speak to our recommended electrician in your area, you can find them here.