Electrical Inspection Condition Reports
Commercial, domestic and landlord EICR testing, otherwise known as an Electrical Inspection Condition Report (EICR) or periodic electrical testing, is a full-scale inspection of your electrical systems and installation.
Is EICR a Legal Requirement?
While there isn’t any legislation that specifically says homeowners, businesses or landlords should have an EICR certificate, laws such as the Landlord and Tenants Act (1985) and Health and Safety at Work Act (1974) outline the responsibilities that landlords and employers have with regards to the safety of tenants and employees respectively. The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 also require that precautions are taken against the risk of injury sustained from electricity used in work activities.
How Often Do I Need an EICR?
Electrical installations are not immune to the process of ageing, deterioration and even general wear and tear. For this reason, an EICR should be conducted at regular intervals. British Standard BS 76719 (IET Wiring Regulations) recommends the following intervals for businesses, landlords and homeowners:
- Businesses – employers are recommended to have an EICR test undertaken once every five years.
- Buy-to-let or rented property – landlords should have an EICR test done every five years or when new tenants enter the property.
- Homeowners – an EICR is recommended every 10 years. If the property has a swimming pool, this should be tested once every year.
What Does an EICR Test Involve?
An EICR will check if your property’s electrics have any faults that cannot be identified through a visual check. A number of faults may occur, such as electrical circuits being overloaded or overheating during use. If any electrical circuit is not properly installed – for example, without earthing or bonding to safely secure the electrics – it may potentially cause a fire or shock hazard. EICR testing will identify any defective electrical work within the system.A visual check can also be performed to give you a quick analysis of how safe your property is. This will look for broken sockets and light switches, damaged cables and scorching / burn marks as a result of overloading the power outlet. It will also look at the residual current device (RCD) for the circuits that operate the bathrooms and gardens. It is recommended that this visual check is completed at regular intervals in between the more in-depth EICR tests.After the test has been completed, the testing engineer will produce a certificate for you. It will detail any damages, deterioration, defects or other dangerous conditions. It will also highlight anything that doesn’t match the present day safety standards and things that might put people at risk.Should the EICR test come back as negative, the EICR will be classed as “unsatisfactory” meaning that the required work needs to be done, without delay, to remove the risk to those living or working at the property. As well as returning an “unsatisfactory” result, the report will detail which electrical system(s) failed the test. Work required is classified using the following codes:</p?
- C1 – ‘danger is present’, risk of injury is likely and immediate action is required.
- C2 – potentially dangerous and remedial action is needed urgently.
- C3 – improvement to your electrical system is recommended. C3 is the only classification code that can appear on a report and still pass the EICR test.
Once your electrical system has passed the inspection fully and any urgent remedial work has been completed, you will be provided with an EICR Certificate of Safety, giving you peace of mind that your electrics are safe.
Five Yearly Electrical ChecksFrom 1st June 2020, private landlords in England will be required to have the electrical installation in their rental properties checked by a qualified electrician to ensure that they are safe.This means that:
- Electrical installations must be inspected and tested prior to the start of a new tenancy from 1stJuly 2020
- Checks must be carried out on any existing tenancies by 1stApril 2021