Is Electrical Testing a Legal Requirement?
Electrical systems are integral parts of any modern building, but these systems are also highly dangerous. The risk of electrical shock and, in extreme cases, death are very real. Accordingly, it’s important that these electrical systems are regularly tested and maintained. But is this a legal requirement? And can you save a little bit of money by assuming that they are in good working order? To understand the answers to these questions we need to ask “is electrical testing a legal requirement?”
Do You Need to Carry Out Electrical Testing?
There is not a specific law which states that you must carry out electrical testing in commercial properties. But the law does require you to ensure that your electrical systems are safe to use. The Electricity at Work Regulations (1989) state that all electrical equipment must be safe for employees to use. Therefore, it is down to the employer to verify that this equipment is tested and cleared as safe to use. Regular testing ensures that this legislation is followed and, more importantly, protects your staff from electrical accidents.
What is a 5 Year Electrical Test?
The 5 year electrical test is a requirement that all commercial property owners need to adhere to. As the name suggests, it’s a series of tests that must be carried out every five years on fixed electrical installations. These tests must be carried out by a qualified electrician and are mandatory requirements as per the Electricity at Work Regulations and the IET Wiring Regulations BS 7671:2008. Upon the successful completion of a 5 year electrical test, an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) will be issued. Possession of an in-date EICR will underline the safety of your electrical systems and keep you in line with the relevant regulations.
What Needs to be Tested?
Electrical installations are complex systems and the dangers associated with them mean that they all need to be tested. PAT testing, although not a legal requirement, is one of the most popular forms of testing. This test involves running tests to check factors such as earth continuity and insulation resistance to identify any safety issues. PAT testing is commonly carried out on any electrical device with a plug. The results of these tests are used to determine whether any further and in-depth testing is required.
The 5 year electrical test is applied to any fixed wiring system within a commercial property. Fixed wiring systems cover any electrical infrastructure which delivers electrical power from the supply to any equipment on site. The tests involved in generating the EICR are numerous and include:
- Inspecting the condition and suitability of earthing and bonding
- The serviceability of existing equipment such as sockets, light fittings and switches
- Establishing the wiring system in place and the current condition of the wiring
- Detailing any instances of wear and tear and potential deterioration in existing electrical systems
Electrical Testing is Crucial
Fixed wiring systems are vital when it comes to keeping workplaces productive, but it’s equally essential that they are safe. This objective is easily achievable by maintaining your systems and abiding by the Electricity at Work Regulations. The best way to guarantee this compliance is by partnering with a qualified expert to secure peace of mind and safe electrical systems.