Electrical installations in buildings deteriorate over time and building occupiers do carry out modifications to the electrical systems, adding sockets, lights etc. Most of the electrical installation is hidden and faults can develop. Due to the nature of electricity faults in the system can lead to serious or fatal injuries. An Electrical Installation Condition Report will detect any faults and recommend a solution.
An EICR is an Electrical Installation Condition Report which is a full inspection and test of a buildings fixed electrical wiring which includes all fixed electrical mains cabling, electrical distribution boards and goes right through to the final electrical outlets such as electrical sockets, fused spurs, light fittings, switches etc.
Yes you should always get a certificate.
No, but your insurance company may well insist that you do. An approved electrician is regularly audited by the approving body to ensure that standards of competence, workmanship, insurance and financial stability are maintained. See NICEIC
Yes it does have to be a fully qualified electrician who has the relevant inspection and test qualifications and experience.
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There will be a short power outage when each circuit is tested. However, if you have critical circuits that cannot be switched off then the testing electrician may at their discretion write an exception on the certificate. Bear in mind that the exception means that the circuit has not been fully tested. This would not prevent a satisfactory certificate being issued.
The law requires that you keep your electrical system safe at all times. To do that effectively means that you must have it inspected and tested by a competent person regularly and remedy any faults identified as a safety issue.
Increasingly insurers are insisting that EICR’s are carried out regularly. This reduces the risk of a building fire (buildings insurance) and injuries to building occupiers (Public and employers liability insurance). If you suffer an avoidable accident, then under the law, if found guilty, you will be deemed to have committed a criminal offence. Insurers will not pay fines or compensation suffered resulting from a criminal offence.
There has always been a requirement to satisfy Health and Safety legislation. In 1989, The Electricity at Work Regulations clarified the need to maintain electrical systems safely. There has always been a requirement and test results and certification will form a major part of your defence should an accident occur which leads to prosecution.
This depends upon the terms of your lease. If you have a full repairing lease then the cost will usually fall to you. Always remember that you are responsible for ensuring that you and your staff comply with Health and Safety legislation so you should co-operate with your landlord and check that a valid and current test certificate exists for the premises.
The IEE regulations dictate that you can only rely upon sample testing if you hold previous full system records, the installation is in excellent condition, no faults are found during the sample testing and no undocumented alterations have been carried out since the system was new or last tested. This is not true of most electrical installations, for which a full Electrical Installation Condition Report should be undertaken.
Yes absolutely. Thermal imaging cannot identify damaged equipment, lack of earthing, over fusing, excessive cable runs, voltage drop, potential fuse disconnection time failures and many other potential faults.
This is derived from your risk assessment however the IEE guidance suggests the following test intervals:
Domestic – 10 years
Commercial – 5 years
Industrial – 3 years