It is utmost crucial any electrical installation must meet regulated standards. Else there is a severe compromise on safety and electricity is potentially hazardous. It can cause damage in split seconds as serious as deaths and fire that gut down buildings. Therefore, faults with sockets, switches or fuse boards must be attended to on immediate basis. When these issues are not left ignored, chances of electric shocks and fire automatically scale down to the ground level.
As per statics electrical fires affect thousands of homes a year in the UK. The Electricity Safety First reports no less than 20,000 of these cases are reported every year. Getting deeper into statistics reveals 11% of these fires are caused due to faulty wiring whereas defective electrical products are responsible for the rest 89%. As a matter of fact, regular inspection of electric systems along with proper maintenance helps avoiding those mishaps to a large extent.
It is a landlord’s sole responsibility to ensure tenants’ safety in the property throughout the term of tenancy. This responsibility includes ensuring electrical appliances, fuse boxes and wires are installed safely as well as properly working. Visual inspections on regular basis are helpful to unearth potential issues related to an electric system. On the flip side, some cables and wires are hidden away from normal view. An electrician who is not properly qualified is likely to overlook that. And this is the reason why there is no better alternative to skilled, qualified and licensed electricians. High level of safety standards is guaranteed when a licensed and experienced electrician checks your property and issue an electrical installation condition report or EICR.
An EICR – What is it?
In plain and simple words an EICR is a formal document which is produced by an electrician only after a comprehensive inspection or assessment of electrical systems in a property. An EICR is required for every private rented property in England, be it residential, industrial or commercial. It is also referred to as the Landlord Safety Test or the Homebuyers Test. Based on the latest legislation of The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector every rented property must have an EICR done at specific time interval. By virtue of the legislation, every private landlord is legally bound to make sure that all electrical installations in a property are in sound working condition.
An EICR is a documented proof that all electrical installations and systems inside a property are rightly installed, properly maintained and in a fine working condition.
The role of an EICR
An EICR mainly serves the following purposes –
Ensures every electrical installation in a property is safe and there is no potential electrical hazard – a skilled and qualified electrician inspects the electrical system to make sure there is no wear and tear issue, damage and deterioration. The inspection also ensures installations are installed correctly.
Identify damage, deterioration and wear and tear issues that may dent the aspect of electrical safety – once any of these issues are uncovered, the electrician will mention that in the report along with corrective measures or remedial work to ensure the threat gets resolves and the electrical system is once again safe as well as in sound working condition.
Discover any component in the electric system that does not comply with the latest regulations – earthing of the cables and wires, health or condition of the installed sockets, suitability of the control and switch gears are few criteria an electrician keeps the focus upon while conducting an EICR. If any component falls short of the latest regulations, it is mentioned in the report as well along with the corrective measure that is to be taken.
Categorise the electrical appliances that are likely to cause electrical shocks and fires – an EICR determines the appliances present in an electrical system that reveal signs of damage or wear and tear. Such components are not safe to use as those are prone to cause electrical shocks and fires. An EICR also recommends repair and replacement of such unsafe items.
Records the condition of an installation and that information is to be used in future inspections – in case there is an accident, the EICR proves to be a useful tool. It proves that the landlord took the necessary measures on time to ensure electrical safety in the property concerned.
Cost of an EICR
On average an electrical installation condition report costs anywhere between £200 and £250. Obviously the price is not uniform and varies between cases. It is determined by various factors including the size, age and location of a property, the extent of testing and others.
The following table will give you a clear idea about its cost –
Type of property Approximate cost
- One bed flat £120
- Two bed flat £120 to £150
- Three bed flat £180 to £210
- A house with one to two beds £150 to £180
- A house with three to four beds £200 to £250
- A 5-bed house or larger £300 and higher
It is important to note that an EICR report must be performed by a qualified and licensed electrician. This is because this category of tradesmen is both skilled and competent enough to know the periodic codes required in an EICR.
Elements included in a Periodic Inspection
When a periodic inspection is performed by a registered electrician the procedure is done case by case and site by site. A periodic inspection on a commercial building will be totally different from a residential one. For residential properties the procedure of the inspection starts with an initial discussion between the client and the electrician. This determines the extent of the inspection – like the number of circuits to be tested, checking cables and wires hidden inside walls and floors for which the plaster has to be cut out. As far as EICR inspection in London is concerned, usually electricians perform standard initial verification and testing on each and everything they manage to get access to.
On the other hand, there are quite a number of operational limitations for any commercial property or building. Those issues must be settled first before the work starts. Example includes shutting down phone lines and servers that are likely to hamper business. The parties may agree to a sampling rate. First it is agreed upon the percentage of sockets that will be tested. If faults are uncovered then that sampling rate is increased, say from 25% to 50%.