Electrical Test Certificate report explained
An electrical installation condition report (EICR) or a periodic inspection report as it used to be called is often referred to by customers as a Landlord Safety Certificates or Homebuyers Test.
Do I need an electrical test? The simple answer is yes, whether it is your home, a business or a home that you rent out, your electrical installation should always be covered by an up-to-date electrical condition report. While it is not a legal requirement to have a Landlord Electrical Test Certificate, many legal documents refer to an electrical conditions report as a way of meeting their requirements – the electricity at work as an example.
Do you know that if you rent out a home and your tenant is electrocuted due to unsafe electricity, you can be prosecuted? Claiming that you were not aware of the state of the electrical installation is not a suitable defense. In many areas, the municipality will push for a condition report for licensing rental homes.
What about the subject of insurance? Many insurers need an electrical status report before they provide coverage, especially when it comes to employees or the public. What would you think about being taken to court for electrocuting a customer or employee just for your insurer to tell you that you are not covered and that you need to cover the costs?
WHAT IS CONTROLLED IN AN EICR?
During the EICR, the consumer unit (or fuse board), wiring, and electrical accessories are carefully checked and checked for errors or deviations from wiring standards. The following will be inspected and tested during the test:
• The suitability of grounding and bonding.
• Electrical appliances to protect against fire and electric shock.
• Any damage or wear that may affect the safety of the occupants of the properties.
• Identification of damaged electrical fittings and accessories.
Many errors cannot be noticed simply by looking and are only picked up during testing. The image on the right shows almost 87 volts on a metal shower enclosure. This was found after a tenant was electrocuted by the Buy toLet property in Bristol.
This would save the landlord a significant amount and documents if he were raised during the EICR.
Electrical test certificate should only be performed by a qualified electrician with knowledge of what they are doing. Believe it or not, not all electricians are the same.
RECOMMENDED FREQUENCIES FOR ELECTRICAL INSTALLATION CONDITION REPORTS
The recommended frequencies for electrical testing depend on the type of property; the recommended frequencies are as follows:
Landlords recommend that an Electrical safety certificate be performed at least every five years. It’s also important to have one done if you move or enter a new home, if your insurance needs one – or if you suspect your current electricity supply is old, faulty, or has been subject to poor quality additions.
Under the Landlord and Tenants Act (1985), landlords must ensure that the electrical installation in a rented property is safely maintained for a rental period. To ensure this, BS7671 recommends an EICR test on rent changes or at least every 5 years. We also recommend annual PAT tests.
Companies – Although it is not legally required to have an EICR, you as an employer are responsible for the wellbeing of your employees. The 1974 Occupational Health and Safety Act requires employers to be “responsible for the health and safety of their workers” and the “electrical regulations at work” requiring precaution to be taken against the risk of injury by electricity used as part of work activities. BS7671 recommends that an EICR be performed at least every 5 years.
HOW MUCH COST & IS THERE ANYTHING I NEED TO KNOW?
Good question and a bit tricky! BS7671 (the 17th edition of the Wiring Regulations) provides guidance on testing and in particular testing of samples. In larger installations, it is acceptable to simply test a sample of the end circuits (lighting and socket circuits, for example, are end circuits). This sample can go up to 10%, this can of course give a misleading picture of the installation and is not recommended.
This can usually cause one contractor’s price to test 10% of the circuits, while another more thorough contractor will test 75 to 100% of the circuits and Emergency Gas Boiler Repair in London. For this reason, it is important to check what percentage your chosen contractor will test when comparing prices. A third scenario that we also often encounter is contractors who will price an EICR at a loss based on the fact that they will drive up the cost of the repair work to make up for the initially low testing costs (and often a significant amount more). Unfortunately, it can be very difficult to quote from another contractor’s electrical test certificate for repairs, this is what the more unscrupulous contractors rely on.