A brief and useful discussion on EICR certificate
What does EICR mean?
EICR is the shortened form of Electrical Installation Condition Report. Previously it was known as Fixed Wire testing. When a skilled individual conducts inspection on your electrical installations to assure you those are safe to use without any risk of electrical shock or fire an EICR is done for your electrical system.
An EICR test or inspection is known by several other names. Some prefer calling it “hard wire testing,” whereas others call it periodic inspection. A lot of people also call it electrical safety certificate. Why is it called “hard wire testing”? The reason is simple; installation components like plug sockets, light fittings and fuse boxes are “hard wired” into a building. Those are not easy to move once installed. This is why people prefer calling EICR “hard wire testing”.
What is meant by “electrical installations”?
Any electrical equipment that is fixed and supplied through the electricity meter is an electrical installation. Typical examples of electrical installations include the following –
- Consumer unit (CU) which is also known as distribution board or fuse box and houses all the circuit breakers, fuses and also RCDs (or residential current device)
- Cabling – both open and concealed that run through walls and ceilings
- Electrical accessories like light fittings, switches, sockets and other
Is an EICR a legal necessity?
According to commercial EICR experts based in London for some buildings or properties, EICR is mandatory but for every building it is not.
Commercial landlords and EICR
As per law there is no need to carry out an EICR for commercial buildings that house a shop, office or a factory.
Residential landlords and EICR
As per law EICR inspections are mandatory for rental properties and HMOs across England, Scotland and Wales. This is aimed at protecting tenants as well as their possessions.
What is the purpose of getting EICR done?
If you own a business, office or rental property then you also have a legal responsibility to make sure that your employees, staffs, customers and tenants are safe from hazards. Outdated, faulty and malfunctioning electrical installations pose a threat of electrical shock. Moreover chances of a fire cannot either be ruled out in such circumstances. According to statistics almost 1 out of every 5 fire incident in England results from faulty cabling and wiring. Considering this fact the new legislations have been brought into effect explains a professional who provides commercial EICR certificate at a reasonable cost. It is indeed important to make sure that every electrical installation within a property is functioning smoothly and safe to use. An EICR is one of the most assured and comprehensive ways to keep electrical installations safe.
How long does an EICR take to complete?
The time always required to complete an EICR certificate varies from case to case and is not uniform everywhere. It depends on the size of a given property. Moreover the number of circuits that need to be tested also factors in. If there is an issue unearthed then that has to be resolved. Even that could take time.
How frequently should there be an EICR?
The interval between two back to back EICR depends on a building itself. Some buildings or properties are more prone to electrical hazards. Thus those buildings require an EICR more frequently. Swimming pools – for example – require an EICR done every year, whereas office and school buildings require an EICR every five years. A professional who provides the service of commercial EICR certificate explains the electrical engineer who carries out the testing will tell you how often your property needs an EICR. This depends largely on the overall condition of your electrical installations and the environment.
Residential landlords and EICR for their properties
In April 2021 there was a major change introduced to the laws related to electrical checks for landlords. As far as one is based in England, every tenancy must have a valid EICR certificate and this EICR has to be renewed every five years. This is why now even residential landlords must get EICR done at regular intervals for their let properties.
Is an EICR required for a domestic property?
As per the existing laws an EICR for a domestic property is not mandatory as it is for a rental residential one. But it is certainly a homeowner’s responsibility to ensure his or her property is safe from electrical hazards. Professionals who carry out EICR commercial property explain if a faulty electrical fitting in your home whips up a fire which damages your neighbour’s house then you would be one obviously responsible for the damage.
Under the given circumstance if you claim damage on your home insurance chances are high that your insurance provider may turn down your claim on the ground that your electrical systems were not properly maintained.
Considering all these issues it is optional that an EICR for a well-established domestic property be carried out duration of every ten years.
If you are moving to a new constructed house that is not freshly built then it is best to get an EICR done on the stuff before you move in. This is the best way to ensure the electrical installations in the new house are up to the standard and safe to use explains a professional who provides EICR certificate for commercial property in London.
On the other hand if you are moving into a newly built property you will be given an EIC or Electrical Installation Certificate. The same goes for a property that is not newly built but has been completely rewired. The EIC is the evidence that electrical installations in the property comply with the BS 7671 IEE Wiring Regulations.
What happens during carrying out an EICR?
A qualified electrician (in many cases even an electrical engineer) inspects the electrical installations in your property during an EICR inspection. A visual inspection is carried out to identify breakage, cracks and signs of overheating. Then electrical testing is carried out using voltages and currents to check the safety quotient of different circuits inside the property.
An expert who charges reasonable cost for EICR certificate for commercial property says if any issue is unearthed during the procedure it is recorded as well as detailed in the report.
While carrying out an EICR is it necessary to turn off power?
Both live power (that is power on) and dead power (or power off) are necessary to carry out an EICR. Most of the testing is done with the power on or the electrical system is live. However it is necessary to turn the power off while carrying out certain tests.
If your circuits are properly labelled, then those can be separately powered off. Thus there will be less disruption for your property explains Commercial Electrician London professional who provides commercial electrical safety certificate at reasonable cost. However there are options in case you do not want to switch off the power completely.