EICR – Electrical Installation Condition Report
Our homes and workplaces rely on electricity to power the many devices we need to live and survive. But we have to make sure these devices are safe. Electricity is a powerful form of energy and can cause serious injuries when it gets out of control. Clearly, it needs to be respected and regulated. One of the most conscientious ways to achieve this is through an electrical installation condition report (EICR).
Why Do You Need an EICR?
Electrical installations, like any product, age over time and this deterioration can cause malfunctions. Sometimes the end result will be that the device is broken and simply won’t work. But, at other times, the malfunction will lend itself to something more serious such as electrocution. Therefore, it’s important that these electrical installations are regularly monitored. This objective should ensure that the device maintains a level of safety that protects anyone using it.
What is Involved in an EICR?
When it comes to completing an EICR then there’s one thing you need before starting: a fully qualified electrician. The knowledge required to complete an EICR involves understanding the BS7671 IET Wiring Regulations and is not something you can quickly brush up on beforehand. So, you need an electrician in place. And once they begin an EICR they will look at the following:
The first port of call will be to carry out a visual inspection to identify any issues caused by wear and tear e.g. damaged cables or power switches. These are often the most obvious risks present in electrical installations. Also, the presence of any outdated standards or equipment needs to be addressed during this section.
This is comprised of two sections: live testing and dead testing. Live testing looks to test disconnection efficiency in the presence of an electrical fault and the suitability of residual current devices for preventing electrocution. Dead testing concentrates on investigating resistance, polarity and continuity of any circuitry in place.
How Often Do You Need to Complete an EICR?
Until recently, landlords were not legally obliged to complete an EICR. However, the government has announced that an EICR will soon become mandatory. This move has been taken to safeguard properties, tenants and landlords from the risk of serious injury and ensure safer living standards. The guidelines for an EICR will require that the report is completed every five years to guarantee a level of safety that takes into account any deterioration of electrical installations.
There are, of course, other instances in which it is recommended to complete an EICR such as:
- Following any major damage to a property such as flood or fire damage. These forms of damage can compromise electrical installations and render them dangerous to use. An EICR will help to identify any major defects caused by such events and allow you to rectify them.
- Before a property is sold or is being prepared to let is an ideal time to complete an EICR as it will provide peace of mind to any new tenants or property owners.