An electrical installation condition report (EICR) is produced when periodic electrical inspection & testing is carried out to a building or property by a certified electrician. EICR reports or periodic inspection reports as they used to be called are often referred to as a Landlord Safety Test or Electrical Safety Certificates.
Who Should Undertake Electrical Testing?
Periodic electrical inspection and testing should only be carried out by electrical contractors who are approved by the NICEIC or ECA. These Governing Bodies assess electrical contractors to ensure they are competent and capable of meeting the relevant technical and safety standards.
Do I Need An EICR Report?
It is recommended that periodic inspection and testing is carried out at the following times:
- Domestic properties – every 10 years or change of occupancy
- Businesses – every 5 years or change of occupancy
Periodic inspection and testing should be carried out more frequently on certain types of installations such as; 3 years for industrial installations, or 1 year for hotels and restaurants. For rented accommodation, the maximum period recommended between inspections is five years or at the end of a tenancy, whichever comes first.
What About When Buying A House?
We highly recommend property buyers to have the electrical installation checked before purchasing a property.
Research carried out by Electrical Safety First found that only 37% of buyers had the electrics checked before the purchase. One in five believed that electrical checks were included in the recommended home survey report and just under half were unaware that checks were needed at all.
Over a third of home buyers then went on to discover electrical problems that they were not aware of before purchase – something that could easily be avoided by getting a certified electrician to inspect the electrics and issue an Electrical Installation Condition Report.
The cost of remedying electrical issues after moving in averages of approximately £2,000, according to the charity, with some costs rising as high as £10,000. Whereas an EICR Report can cost as little as £120.00 + VAT.
What Happens During An EICR?
The approved contractor will check the electrical installation against the requirements of BS7671 – Requirements for Electrical Installations ( IEE Wiring Regulations) – as amended, which is the national safety standard for electrical installations.
The EICR will take into account all relevant circumstances including the following factors:
- Adequacy of earthing and bonding
- Suitability of the switchgear and control gear e.g. consumer unit e.g. an old fuse box with a wooden back, cast-iron switches, a haphazard mixture of such equipment is likely to need replacing
- Serviceability of equipment e.g. switches, socket-outlets, and light fittings e.g. older round pin sockets, round light switches, and braided flex hanging from ceiling roses to light fittings, black switches, sockets mounted in skirting boards may require replacing.
- Type of wiring system and its condition e.g. cables coated in black- rubber, black-rubber was phased out in the 1960s or cables coated in lead or fabric are even older and may need replacing (modern cables use PVC insulation)
- Provision of residual current devices for socket-outlets that may be used to plug in electrical equipment used outdoors
- Presence of adequate identification and notices
- The extent of any wear and tear, damage, or other deterioration
- Changes in use of the premises which have led to, or might lead to, deficiencies in the installation.
The Approved Contractor will provide an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) which you should retain.
What If It Fails The EICR Inspection?
Should the EICR test be classed as “unsatisfactory” the required remedial work should be done without delay. The EICR report will detail which electrical system(s) failed the test. Work required is classified using the following codes:
- 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 of your electrical system is recommended. C3 is the only classification code that can appear on a report and still pass the EICR test.
- FI – Further investigation required
Only once the required remedial work has been completed, the approved electrical contractor will provide you with a “satisfactory” EICR Certificate.