EICR Low Down
Why you need an Electrician’s EICR
EICR’s… what are they and why do electricians carry them out?
The technical explanation: an EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report) provides an assessment of the in-service condition of an electrical installation against the requirements of the edition of BS 7671 in place at the time of the inspection.
Property owners and businesses have a legal obligation to their staff, customers and tenants to ensure their properties are safe under the Landlord and Tenants Act (1985) and Health and Safety at Work Act (1974). The EICR meets this obligation; although it is not a legal requirement to have one (see below for the changes in law). Why wouldn’t you use something that does your job for you?
An EICR identifies any damage, deterioration, defects and/or conditions which may lead to danger, along with observations and recommendations for improvement.
It is a more detailed report than a VIR (Visual Inspection Report) and will involve the testing of various circuits and will mean the electric needs to be switched off at the mains. This additional testing via the EICR will allow the identification of hidden defects or issues not identified during the VIR report.
The purpose of an electrical EICR (also known as a periodic inspection and testing of an electrical installation), is to assess if the installation is in a suitable condition for continued use.
This is arguably a great tool for homeowners looking for confidence in the electrics within the property that they wish to buy.
Also, landlords, with an increasing awareness of their electrical safety obligations, request regular periodic inspections in relation to their rental properties.
It is recommended that an electrician’s EICR is carried out every ten years (five for privately rented properties) or when there is a change of occupancy in the property.
It takes around 4-8 hours to complete an EICR, depending on the size of a property and the number of circuits requiring testing.
As a landlord or property manager, it is essential that all the properties you manage are in a state considered ‘fit for human habitation’. This includes ensuring that all electrical appliances, electrical wiring, and electrical installations are safe and compliant (legally).
For landlords, a satisfactory EICR will also ensure that you are covered if a tenant decides to alter the electrical installation causing harm to people or damage to your property.
New laws introduced in July 2020 have meant that it is now a legal requirement for Landlords to produce an EICR on request from a tenant, managing agent or local authority within 30 days should they ask. All existing tenancies will require an EICR report by April 2021.
If your property has an up to date EICR, but you have a change of occupancy before your next test is due, rather than a full EICR you can get a thorough visual check done instead.
What the visual inspection covers:
- Consumer unit (boiler)
- Light fittings
- Light switches
- Electrical cables or leads
- Earthing and main bonding (gas, water, central heating, steel, other extraneous metallic services)
- Extension leads
- Kitchen installation
- Bathroom Installation
- Signs of wear and tear
- Visible signs of heat damage
- RCD (Residual Current Devise) protection in place (electrical circuit breaker)
The electrician will tick off a small checklist and conduct a few tests to confirm that everything is working as it should before your next tenant moves in; giving you and your tenant peace of mind.
If, however, you neglect to repair any faulty electrical installations identified in either the EICR or visual check, your tenant could be at risk of damage to their health and even death. You will also leave yourself open to being sued by your tenant.
In addition, your local authority could issue you a £30,000 fine for each breach of regulations, so you could face multiple penalties.
EICRs should also not be overlooked by those looking at buying a house. Not checking whether a property has an up to date EICR before giving a seller money can lead to an expensive outlay down the road.
Henshall Electrical have had many calls from clients who, after having moved into a property, have found to their dismay that after wanting just a few sockets installed that they in fact need a complete rewire!
Having that report in place prior to buying a house takes the uncertainty and guess work out of the equation completely.
Henshall’s Code of Conduct for EICRs
- 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 or 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.
What will an EICR tell me?
An Electrician’s EICR will provide a full summary of the condition of the electrics in your property and determine whether it complies with the current British Standard for electrical safety (BS 7671).
It will record several observations in line with BS 7671 and make various recommendations where improvement may be necessary or beneficial to improving safety in the home. Once the EICR is completed the registered contractor will provide you with a certificate outlining the overall condition of the electrical installation.
Classification codes are allocated for each installation. The codes are as follows:
This code should indicate that danger exists, requiring immediate remedial action. The persons using the installation are at immediate risk.
This code indicates that, whilst an observed deficiency is not considered to be dangerous at the time of the inspection, it could become a real and immediate danger if a fault or other foreseeable event was to occur in the installation or connected equipment.
This code indicates that, whilst an observed deficiency is not considered to be a source of immediate or potential danger, improvement would contribute to a significant enhancement of the safety of the electrical installation. You are under no obligation to have any of the issues fixed, though it is recommended that corrective action to rectify any C1 and C2s is completed as soon as possible
An electrician’s EICR is therefore an essential piece of documentation for all landlords, property owners and even homeowners (or buyers/sellers at least).
If you are in need of such a certificate do get in touch if you are within the Bournemouth, Christchurch, Poole, Wimborne, Ferndown and surrounding areas and we can set your mind at rest and give you the information that will help you to sleep at night!