What is an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR), and do I need one?

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What is an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR), and do I need one?

You might not be able to see it, but your electrics, like most things, deteriorate over time. Electrical faults are responsible for at least half of house fires, so it’s important to consider checking the condition of your household electrics.  An Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) will confirm your home is safe.

The EICR has also been known under other names, which we’ll include within this article, giving you more information on when and why a report is recommended, and how to go about it.

An EICR involves a thorough inspection and assessment to check the overall condition of your electrical installation and will pick up damaged or faulty electrics in need of repair.

Also known as a Periodic Inspection Report, it is the formal document produced after the electrical inspection and must be completed by a registered electrician or approved contractor.

How Regularly should an EICR be carried out?

Although there is no legal requirement for homeowners or business owners to obtain an Electrical Installation Condition Report, it is recommended for all domestic homes at least every 10 years (annually if you have a swimming pool).

If you are selling a house the EICR, or Homebuyers Test, is one of the documents which will be requested in the legal pack, and failure to provide it could cause delays and issues with the sale. Not to mention potential problems and risks for the purchaser if it turns out the electrics are unsafe. It may also help you sell your house, as this is your evidence that the electrical installation is completely safe and up to date with current standards. Handy hint: check your household insurance policy wording too, as it may invalidate your cover if you do not hold a current EICR.

Business owners obviously have a duty of care towards their employees, and responsibilities for their business premises. Legislation such as the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 requires that ‘precautions are taken against the risk of injury sustained from electricity in the workplace’. Current recommendation is for an EICR to be carried out within a business every 5 years.

Landlords have the responsibility to their tenants to ensure they live in an electrically safe property. So, Landlords Safety Test, must be carried out in rental accommodation every 5 years, or with each change of tenancy. With effect from July 2020, landlords have a legal requirement to ensure that a valid report is always in place, and available within 30 days of request from the tenant, managing agent or local authority.

What does an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) inspection involve?

The process and cost of an Electrical Installation Condition Report varies depending on the type and use of the property being inspected. The average cost is £200-£300 but is also dependent on the size and property type.

Domestic Properties –

The process starts with a discussion with the homeowner to assess how many circuits are to be tested, and any limitations i.e. checking cables under floors or in walls which would require additional access. But, the electrician should check everything they can access, either by a visual assessment to pick up on damaged or broken sockets, light switches, and cables, and check for signs of overloading of power supplies, burns, or scorches, etc. or by the full testing. The Residual Current Device (RCD) for circuits that run bathrooms, kitchen, and garden are also included within the inspection.

Commercial Properties –

Due to the operational downtime or other impacts that electrical testing may have on a business, a specific sample size may be agreed at the start, rather than the entire range. But the report will include a clear comment on what proportion was included. Where a sample has been tested, if any faults are revealed, a larger sample may then also be tested to ensure satisfaction with the results and compliance with requirements. The findings from the additional sample will also be clearly documented.   

The completed report may include images and photographs in addition to the commentary, and will always include a covering letter which details damage, deterioration, and defects, plus anything that does not meet current safety standards and could be classed as a risk. These findings are given a code according to the level of risk, and work required to sign off the EICR as satisfactory:

C1‘danger is present’ which highlights immediate action required
C2potential danger, so urgent action required
C3improvement is recommended, but can still pass the EICR test

If the inspection comes back as ‘unsatisfactory’ and additional work is required to bring the property up to safety standards, the inspection will need to be repeated once the work has been carried out so that you can be issued with your Electrical Installation Condition Report.

Our existing and potential customers are important to us no matter whether your property is residential, commercial, or tenanted. And we are registered to work alongside Government agencies. So, if you need any advice, a visual inspection, or a complete Electrical Installation Condition Report do not hesitate to contact us at Elite Electrical Contractors. We are here to keep you safe!

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