Electrical wiring and cables are out of sight and hidden as we go about our daily business, so it’s not surprising that often we leave the safety of our loved ones, colleagues and customers to chance.
In the UK according to government statistics, there were 334 fire related fatalities in 2017/18. This shows an upward trend of 27% from the previous year 2016/2017, a good portion of which were attributed to faulty wiring and/or installation.
The tragic case of a mother her young family in house fire in Derbyshire is one statistic too many. This horrific consequence of faulty installations could have been prevented by ensuring cables, switches, sockets and other accessories are regularly checked by means of an Electrical Installation Condition Report.
What is an EICR report?
An EICR or Electrical Installation Condition Report is an inspection carried out periodically on the condition of existing electrical installations. The purpose is to identify any safety shortcomings and to adhere to National Safety Standards and the current electrical regulation, BS7671 (Regulation 135.1).
It is recommended all installations should be inspected every 3 to 5 years for commercial properties, every 10 years or on change of ownership for domestic dwellings.
This in-depth electrical testing and inspection offer invaluable security that electrics in your industrial, commercial and domestic property are functioning correctly and safely. It ensures that measures have been taken to prevent dangerous electrical accidents.
Think of them as an M.O.T for your home.
‘It is recommended all installations should be inspected every 3 to 5 years for commercial properties, every 10 years or on change of ownership for domestic dwellings.’
Do I Need an EICR as a Homeowner?
Although currently in the U.K. there is no official requirement for an EICR, as a homeowner, could you sleep soundly at night in the knowledge that due to potential negligence you could cause a person’s death or serious injury? Read on for information on how EICR can give you peace of mind and the reassurance you are taking the right and important steps to ensure the safety of your loved ones.
Do I Need an EICR Report to Sell My House?
No. Currently, there is no legal requirement to obtain an EICR for a private dwelling, however many house buyers request one before exchanging contracts and it can be a value-added extra to your buyers knowing you have taken care of electrical installations in your property and the safety of the occupants to a high standard. This will give potential buyers extra reassurance and may even assist in obtaining the sale.
Additional Certifications a Seller Needs Relating to Electrical Installations.
If you have had any major building works in your property since 1st January 2015, you will be required to obtain a ‘Part B building regulation certificate’. This is a requirement to be passed on to your buyer.
It covers everything from large works to minor electrical installations such as:
- Installation of any new electrical circuits ● Replacing a fuse box ● Altering or adding to an existing circuit ( such as adding new sockets) in special locations, such as bath and shower rooms, pools or saunas.
Is EICR Mandatory for Landlords?
Do you know that if you rent out a property and your tenant is electrocuted due to unsafe electrics, you can be prosecuted?
Under the ‘Landlord and Tenants Act (1985)’ Landlords must ensure that the electrical installation in a rented property is maintained safely throughout the tenancy.
Failure to protect your tenants can result in huge fines, invalidated insurance policies and most importantly an increased risk to your tenant’s safety. The law governing electrical installations is forever updating and changing so although currently in the UK on-going EICR’s are not mandatory for single occupancy rentals, the law decrees that landlords have a requirement to prove that all NEW electrical installation and equipment is safe to use at the beginning of the tenancy.
Electrical safety is a key point of the law and compliance for landlords of HMO’s (homes of multiple occupancies). This states that an EICR must be undertaken every 5 years to comply with safety legislation.
IECR reports are now also forming an integral standard of insurance companies terms, insisting that tenants safety is and continues to be paramount.
EICR for Commercial Enterprises
If you are operating a large scale industrial enterprise, it is important to have your electrics tested every 3 years. Large factories with complex electrical systems operating machinery around the clock and employing a large amount of staff are duty bound to their employees to ensure all electrical equipment is performing effectively and safely.
Buildings used by members of the public such as schools, hotels, caravans and swimming pools, for example, require more frequent inspection. This is an area where one our experienced qualified electricians at Phoenix Electrical Solutions will be able to assist you. Providing expert and professional assistance to make sure safety is of paramount importance.
Insurance cover on these types of properties containing members of the public is most often dependent on EICR before they will supply cover for you.
What Does an EICR Contain?
An EICR will check that the electrical installation and/or work carried out is:
- New, whereby the whole installation has been installed as new, or if a complete rewire has been carried out. ● Addition, this applies if modifications have been carried out by adding one or more new circuits. ● Alteration, one or more existing circuits have been modified, extended (for example to add extra electrical sockets) or items such as a consumer unit, known more popularly as a ‘fuse box’ and switching equipment have been replaced.
An EICR MUST be issued for all new electrical installations and may also be required for alteration and additions, depending on whether or not a new circuit has been installed. Where an alteration or addition is carried out but does NOT include a new circuit, a MEIWC OR an EICR may be used.
What Other Work Is Undertaken in an EICR?
A thorough and professional EICR will contain the following:
- Removing as many sockets, switches, and light points as possible for visual inspection and to determine circuit layout
- Testing from multiple points back to the consumer unit (fuse box) ● Visual inspection of cables in loft and floor voids if accessible
- Identification of any live wires ● Continuity testing of main bonding from the gas/water intakes back to the consumer unit
- An insulation test to check voltage levels
- Remove all light bulbs and isolate power supplies ● Visual inspection and testing below bath and basin
- All fixed appliances disconnected or anything else that may be damaged by the test voltage
- Identification of any damaged electrical fittings or accessories
How Long Does an EICR Take?
At Phoenix Electrical Solutions we guarantee to undergo your EICR with diligence and expertise. Our highly skilled and fully qualified electricians will undergo a thorough and expert evaluation of your installation.
Exact time frames for inspections are difficult to ascertain without a prior site visit, which can take around an hour to assess as each installation is varied and will have different requirements.
The same applies to works that may need to be carried out as a result of an inspection. But with our years of experience means you can rest assured we will undertake the work in an efficient manner, with minimal disruption to complete your work to the highest standard. As a general guide on timing, you should expect to allow for the following time frame…
- One Bed Property – Up to Three Hours
- Two Bed Property – Up to Four Hours
- Three Bed Property – Around Three to Five House
- Larger Or Commercial Properties – Variable depending on size and industry
Our electricians are also happy to answer any questions you may have before the work is undertaken, relating to:
- Whether additional wiring will be required to install storage or combi heaters
- Any requirements when using specific hot water tariffs, for example, efficient off-peak use
How Much Does an EICR Cost?
Typically a fair price for EICR costs between £150 to £180 for a two bedroomed dwelling, and between £200 and £250 for three to four bedroomed house. These prices are based on reasonably new wiring. If you’re a homeowner, manage a commercial enterprise, or a landlord with an HMO, or multiple buildings, do get in touch with us for a free quote.
How Long Is an Electrical Safety Certificate Valid For?
- A commercial enterprise is recommended to have an EICR test undertaken once every five years.
- Buy-to-let and rented properties. Landlords should renew every five years
- Home-owners. An EICR is recommended every 10 years or upon selling your property
- Offices, shops and laboratories 5 years
- Large scale industrial enterprise and buildings frequented by members of the public 3 years.
How Do I Obtain an Electrical Installation Certificate?
To start this process, an official EIC report can be obtained by using the services of qualified electricians and companies who offer a full range of domestic and commercial electrical solutions.
Do your homework and make sure you choose a reputable company with highly skilled electricians who are members of the NICEIC. All companies displaying this membership will be an approved contractor and certified by the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting.
Why Do I Need to Keep My Electrical Installation Certificate?
Your EICR provides you, as the person responsible for the safety of electrical installations, with a declaration and written confirmation that the new installation, or any alteration or any addition to, is safe to use from the time it was put into service.
Keeping hold of your certificates provides a basis for any further inspection and testing as this saves considerable time and cost on any work required to explore the previous installation.
Most importantly, in the event of any claim or injury from a fire caused by faulty electrical installations, the certificate provides evidence which helps to prove the electrics had been installed to a satisfactory legal and safe standard
As a competent and compliant owner and provider of electrical services within your home or establishment, it is paramount to ensure you obtain a current EICR to remain compliant in commercial ventures and also as a safety-conscious and a diligent homeowner.
Here at Phoenix Electrical Solutions, we’re your locally established domestic and commercial electricians service. We’re based in Warrington and have been operating for over 13 years across the Warrington, Cheshire and North West Region.
‘’We have an outstanding reputation for consistently providing a personal, yet professional service’’
We can give you a same day quote, a fast response and competitive prices, so do get in touch today to discuss any of your requirements in relation to EICR – or any other enquiries. And let us help you sleep soundly at night.