Over time, all electrical installations deteriorate for a range of reasons, the most common ones simply being age and use. It’s important to get an electrical installation condition report (EIRC) done often to check for any damage, deterioration or defects. But how often does an EICR need to be done? And why is it necessary?
Why is an EICR necessary?
An EICR is done by hiring a qualified electrician who will inspect and test existing installations and to ensure they are safe to stay in service and they’re compliant with the British Standard BS7671. Periodic inspections will reveal any risks of shock, fire hazards, defective electrical work, if sockets are overloaded, highlight any lack of bonding or earthing and check the wiring of fixed electrical equipment is safe. When periodic inspections are carried out, they will also schedule circuits – this is crucial for properties. Statistics show that household appliances cause 15,000 accidental fires a year in England, many of which can result in serious injury, or even death. Having an EICR carried out often will check for the above risks and ensure homes and dwellers are safe from electrical hazards, lowering the risk of serious injury and death.
How often should an EICR be carried out?
The rules of when an EICR should be done depends on the type of property, what the property is used for, and some other circumstances…
For an owner-occupied home, an EICR should be carried out every ten years – this is the maximum period stated in the IET Wiring Regulations.
For rented homes and accommodation, an EICR should be done every five years – the regulations for electrical safety regulations for landlords changed in 2019, requiring landlords to gain an electrical safety certificate every five years, at least – this is a legal requirement. This is also the recommended period for educational establishments, commercial buildings such as offices and shops, laboratories, hospitals and clinics (general areas), hotels and restaurants, bars and pubs, and more.
An EICR should be carried out yearly for cinemas, swimming pools, caravan parks, laundrettes and petrol stations.
The below instances also require an EICR to be done:
- Before selling or buying a property (which was previously occupied)
- When a property is being prepared for letting
How are EICRs done and who by?
EICR reports are carried out by qualified and competent electricians, they will inspect and test electrical appliances and installations. As mentioned, electricians must be competent and qualified to do an EICR report – doing an Inspection and Testing training course isn’t a legal requirement, however, electricians can benefit from completing a course for a range of reasons, one being that it is a requirement for joining a Part P scheme.
When conducting an EICR report, the electrician will check on and take the following into account:
- The type of wiring system and its condition
- The sufficiency of earthing and bonding
- The functionality of switches, sockets, and light fittings
- The extent of wear and tear, damage, and other deterioration
- The suitability of the switch and control gear
- Ensuring sockets that are used to supply electricity to equipment used outdoors are RCD protected
- Any changes in the property that may have led to unsafe conditions
- The presence of suitable identification and notices
To prevent electrical accidents in homes and businesses, an EICR report should be done often to protect properties – the frequency depends on the property and its use, all time periods for different establishments are stated in the IET wiring regulations.
Are you interested in gaining a qualification in Inspection and Testing? We have a range of courses that can get you there! Our City and Guilds 2391-52 course is one of our most popular and will train you to conduct initial and periodic inspections on electrical installations. In order to join a part-p scheme, an Inspection and Testing qualification is required – having a qualification also proves competence if something ever goes wrong.
City and Guilds 2391-52 Course Overview
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