Electricity cannot be seen. The cables are usually hidden in our walls, and consumer units are more often than not, hidden in cupboards. Therefore it is not surprising that we can forget to check the condition of our electrical installations for damage or deteriation.
No electrical installation, no matter how carefully designed and erected, can be expected to last forever. Deterioration will take place, as well as normal wear and tear. Any faults or weaknesses within your electrical installation or portable appliances can go undetected.
Fixed wiring testing, periodic inspection or as it is formally now known, an EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report) will accurately identify faults, their locations and usually the recommended solution. You could compare it to having an MOT for your vehicle!
The Electricity at Work Regulations of 1989 requires that all electrical installations are to be maintained in a safe condition. If the regular testing and inspection becomes neglected - those responsible may be prosecuted under health and safety law, the lives of workforce/tenants are put at unnecessary risk, and any insurance claims may be invalidated.
2. Insurance requirements
Insurance companies are increasingly asking for evidence that the electrical installation is safe. An insurer may reduce, delay or even refuse to pay on a claim for damage, if an avoidable accident or a fire occurs where electricity is suspected to have been the cause. Then under law if you are found to be guilty you will be deemed to have committed a criminal offence. Insurers will not pay fines or compensation suffered resulting from a criminal offence.
According to Government statistics, each year on average 10 people die and about 750 are seriously injured in accidents involving unsafe
electrical installations in the home.
Faulty and old wiring is one of the main causes of 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.
The electrical installation condition report will find any potential electric shock risks and fire hazards that made go unseen in your home or work place.
Any faults or weaknesses within your electrical installation or portable appliances can go undetected. In the event of a further fault
developing, it could lead to serious risk of fire, electrocution or death.
By carrying out testing and inspection at regular intervals, deficiencies in your electrical systems can be identified and dealt with immediately, meaning that a problem does not persist undetected.
Any additions to the installation could cause an overload on circuits if not installed by a regulated electrical contractor. An EICR will
pick up any faults that could cause a fire, and possibly death due to the overloading of circuits.
We all have a lot of electrical appliances now and often do not have enough sockets to plug everything into, how many of us have extensions leads dotted around our home? Are they used safely? Many of us have a ‘daisy chain’ effect of plugging extension into extension which can also cause an overload.
6. Earthing and Bnding
If you’ve had an alteration or addition made to your electrical installation, a regulated electrical contractor will have checked that the existing earthing and bonding arrangements are adequate. This is because the safety of any new work, however minor, will depend on those earthing and bonding arrangements (as does the safety of your existing installation).
The metal parts of an electrical installation or appliance may become live if a fault occurs.
The purpose of earthing is to minimize the risk of an electric shock should anyone touch those metal parts when a fault is present. This is achieved by providing a path for fault current to flow safely to earth, which also causes the protective device to disconnect the circuit, removing the danger.
The purpose of bonding is to minimize the risk of an electric shock to anyone who may be touching two separate conductive parts when a fault occurs somewhere in the supply or in the electrical installation.
An EICR will pick up any defects in the earthing/bonding.
7. Peace of Mind
If you’re concerned with the electrics in your property then there is usually a reason. Statistics show that even with modern regulations and an increase in awareness of potential electrical risks in the home, that there are still far too many incidents across the UK.
Having your electrical installation tested will outline any existing or potential risks.
We offer a full electrical test and inspection which will cover the following:
A full report is provided and we are happy to answer any questions, or provide free of charge estimates to solving issues which may arise from our findings.
Some companies will offer a cut price test and inspection – based on sample testing/percentage testing – for installations that require 100% testing. As per the IEE Regulations, you can only rely on sample testing if you hold previous full system records, the installation is considered to be in excellent condition, no faults are found during sample testing and no undocumented alterations have been carried out since the system was new or last tested. In such cases, the inspection will not comply with the IEE wiring regulations, and consequences include:
For more information, please see our ‘Testing and Inspection’ page on our website or call us on 01323 766765
Tel: 01323 766765