What is an EICR?
An electrical installation condition report or EICR is an inspection of the electrical installation and wiring within a property to identify any faults and ensure compliance with the current British Standard for electrical safety (BS 7671).
Just like having your boiler serviced, an EICR ensures that your property is safe and alerts you to any electrical faults that are present or developing that could pose a risk to the occupants of the building.
An EICR can only be carried out by a competent and qualified person. For example, a qualified electrician registered with a recognised scheme such as NICEIC.
Following the test, the competent person will issue you with an EICR certificate detailing any potential dangers that were found. Dependent on the danger present, remedial work may be required before the test can be marked as satisfactory.
What’s Inspected During an EICR?
Throughout the inspection, several electrical components will be checked including the consumer unit (fuse box), sockets, plugs, lights, earthing & bonding and electrical cables. An inspection for an electrical safety certificate will consist of:
- Visual Inspection – A visual inspection is a series of basic checks to identify any noticeable signs of deterioration or damage such as damaged cables or scorch marks.
- Dead Testing – Dead testing checks the continuity, insulation, resistance and polarity of the installation.
- Live Testing – Live testing checks disconnection efficiency to ensure that the electrics can quickly shut down if required to prevent risks and minimise damage.
- RCD Testing – RCD tests check the RCDs (Residual-Current Devices) which are safety devices designed to prevent fatal electric shocks and electrical fires.
How Often Do I Need an EICR?
The recommended frequencies for an EICR vary dependant on the type of property you own:
- Landlords / Rental Property / HMOs – As of July 2020, landlords are legally obliged to have an EICR carried out once every 5 years and at the start of new tenancies by a qualified. Landlords must provide a copy to their tenants and local authority if requested.
- Business Premises – Whilst there are no laws around frequencies for EICRs, as a business, you must keep your employees safe by law. For this reason, it is recommended that an EICR is carried out every 5 years or when you move premises.
- Homeowners / Domestic Properties – If you are a homeowner, it is generally recommended that you have an EICR carried out every 10 years. Additionally, you should have an EICR carried out if you are selling the property or moving into a new property.
- Leisure Centres – In leisure complexes, an EICR should be carried out every 3 years.
An exception to these frequencies applies to any premises with a swimming pool where an EICR is required annually.
EICR Observation Codes
Throughout the safety tests, our electrician will record observation codes in line with the severity of the issue and the danger it poses. The classification codes that may be found on an EICR report include:
- Code 1 (C1) – This means ‘Danger Present’ and indicates that there is a risk of injury. Remedial work will be required immediately.
- Code 2 (C2) – This means ‘Potentially Dangerous’ and indicates that it is likely to pose a risk in the future. Remedial work will be required immediately.
- Code 3 (C3) – This means ‘Improvement Recommended’ and indicates that whilst there is no immediate danger, the safety of the installation could be improved if remedied.
With observation codes C1 or C2 present on the electrical installation condition report, the report would be marked as ‘unsatisfactory’ and remedial work would need to be undertaken.
However, if only observation code C3 is found, the report would be marked as ‘satisfactory’. It would be the decision of the building owner to undertake remedial work for any issues marked as C3.
What Happens After an EICR?
After the electrical inspection report has been carried out, you will be issued the results. If your property meets the standards, the report will be marked as satisfactory.
If parts of the installation present an immediate or future risk as per the EICR observation codes, the report will be classed as ‘unsatisfactory’ and remedial work will need to be carried out to bring the installation up to standard.
Be sure to keep your EICR certificate in a safe place as it may be requested by local authorities, insurance companies, tenants or new residents of the building amongst others.