Electrical Installations should be inspected and tested at regular intervals to check whether they are in a satisfactory condition for safe continued use, this called either a Periodical Inspection or more recently a EICR which stands for Electrical Installation Condition Report.
As a guide, EICR or periodic inspection of your electrics should be carried out every:
- 10 years for an owner-occupied home.
- 5 years for a rented home.
- 3 years for a caravan.
- 1 year for a swimming pool.
Other times when a periodic inspection should be carried out are:
- When a property is being prepared for letting.
- Before selling a property or buying a previously-occupied property.
What we are looking to inspect
- 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).
- Check the suppliers main earth or local earthing is within specifications and provides a adequate path to earth.
- Reveal if any of your electrical circuits or equipment are overloaded showing signs of thermal damage.
- Find any potential for electric shock risks.
- Highlight any lack of earthing or bonding.
- Tests are carried out on wiring and fixed electrical equipment to check that they are safe, PAT testing.
- The adequacy of earthing and bonding.
- The suitability of the switchgear and controlgear.
- The type of wiring system and its condition. For example, cables coated in black rubber were phased out in the 1960s. Likewise cables coated in lead or fabric are even older and may well need replacing (modern cables use longer-lasting pvc insulation).
- The presence of adequate identification and notices at the consumer unit.
- The extent of any wear and tear, damage or other deterioration to accessories, cables etc.
- Any changes in the use of the premises that have led to, or may lead to, unsafe conditions.
- 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.
- The competent person will then issue an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR for short) which details any observed damage, deterioration, defects, dangerous conditions and any non-compliances with the present-day safety standard that might give rise to danger.