What is the aim of an electrical installation condition report?
You cannot see electricity. Cables are usually hidden inside our walls, and consumer units are often hidden in cupboards, so it is not surprising that we forget to check the condition of our electrical installation for damage or wear and tear.
Faulty and old wiring is one of the main causes or electrical fires in the home. You can reduce the risk of a fire by checking the condition of your cables, switches, sockets and other accessories regularly. Tenants can be tempted to make amendments to wiring and sockets without realising how dangerous it can be. Any new incoming tenants could be at risk if the electrical installation is not tested between tenants. An EICR by a reputable competent electrician will look for the following:
- Record the results of the inspection and testing to make sure the electrical installation is safe to be used until the next inspection (following any work needed to make it safe)
- Find any damage and wear and tear that might affect safety, and report it
- Find any parts of the electrical installation that do not meet the IET Wiring Regulations
- Help find anything that may cause electric shocks and high temperatures
- Provide an important record of the installation at the time of the inspection, and for inspection testing in the future.
- Did you know that DIY errors cause half of all serious electric shocks in UK homes?
- Almost 50% of households admit that they feel they should try and tackle household maintenance and repair jobs themselves or ask a mate before calling in a professional.
- But our survey discovered that nearly half of all severe electric shocks are caused by DIY attempts, with the main errors including cutting through power leads, drilling into wiring and repairing electrical items while they’re still switched on.
- In addition, in a survey of registered electricians a third said they had seen or been involved with fixing electrical DIY mishaps that had resulted in fires, serious electric shock or significant repair costs.
- Since 2005, all electrical work in dwellings in England and Wales whether carried out professionally or as DIY, and whether or not the work is notifiable to a building control body (see below), must meet the requirements of Part P of the Building Regulations. In April 2013 the requirements for England were amended.
- Compliance with Part P is intended to keep you and your family as safe as possible from electrical hazards.
- The requirements of Part P apply to new dwellings and to any alterations or additions to the electrical installations of existing dwellings, including full or partial rewires.
- Part P states that anyone carrying out electrical work in a dwelling must ensure that reasonable provision has been made in the design and installation of the electrical installations in order to protect any persons who might use, maintain or alter the electrical installation of that dwelling from fire and injury, including electric shock.
Who is responsible for making sure that electrical work in your home meets the requirements of Part P?
By law, the homeowner or landlord must be able to prove that all electrical installation work meets Part P, or they will be committing a criminal offence.
Local authorities have the power to make homeowners or landlords remove or alter any work that does not meet the requirements of the Building Regulations.
What electrical work is notifiable?
From April 2013 electrical work in a dwelling, or associated with its surroundings, is notifiable to a local building control body where the work includes:
- the installation of a new circuit, whether at low voltage (typically 230 V) or extra-low voltage); or
- the replacement of a consumer unit (fuse box); or
- any alteration or addition to an existing circuit in a special location*, whether at low voltage (typically 230 V) or extra-low voltage
- A special location is a room containing a bath or shower, swimming pool or a sauna heater.
An alteration or addition to an existing circuit in a room containing a bath or shower is notifiable only where carried out in the space surrounding a bath or shower. An alteration or addition anywhere within a room containing a swimming pool or sauna heater is notifiable.
A key feature of the ruling is inspection. Landlords will need to make sure all electrical installations in their property are inspected and tested by a qualified person every five years (at least). You’re legally obliged to supply a copy of the inspection and test report to new, existing and prospective tenants, as well as your local authority if they ask for it.