What is an EICR?
An EICR, or Electrical Installation Condition Report, is an in-depth inspection of your property’s electrical systems and installation. The inspection is to assess and identify any condition, deterioration or defect which has the potential to result in danger. In this electrical safety certification, all the electrical systems and installations present in residential or commercial buildings are thoroughly inspected.
Do I need an EICR report?
Legislation has recently changed and now states that from July 1st 2020, privately rented properties will need a valid EICR for all new tenancies and renewals. Business owners also require a valid EICR Electrical Certificate as they are legally responsible for the welfare of their staff, customers or tenants, and could face prosecution should there be harm caused due to unsafe electrics.
If you are a homeowner, it is not a legal requirement to have an Electrical Installation Condition Report. However, it is advised that a new electrical certificate should be undertaken every ten years for a privately owned property. In addition, if you are looking to sell your property, your buyer’s solicitor may well request in order for you to demonstrate regular maintenance to the property. That’s why you need an Electrical Safety Certification. It is also worth noting that if you fail to maintain your electrical systems, insurance companies can use this as a reason to refuse claims.
How long are they valid for?
Current guidelines state that for rental properties the Electrical Installation Condition Report lasts for 5 years but also recommends having the report renewed at the start of each new tenancy.
How much does an EICR cost?
We offer a fixed rate of £99.00 Inc Vat for 1 Consumer Unit and an extra £50.00 for each additional Consumer Unit.
Who can issue a report?
Guidelines state that the electrical safety certification report must be carried out by a competent and qualified person. A qualified electrician in order to fill the Electrical Certificate must have taken the proper courses and training that cover periodic testing and inspection of electrical installations and must be registered with scheme providers to ensure their compliance with the latest standards of safety in the field (IET 18th Edition).
We are a group of qualified electricians with membership of the governing body Napit.
What does an EICR check?
The EICR Electrical Certificate inspection is done to determine if there are any serious issues with a property’s electrical systems. The inspection includes a visual check of the electrical systems as well as thorough testing for relevant parts, such as interior (main system cables, electrical distribution boards, etc.) and exterior pieces (including light fittings, switches, sockets). Such tests include Dead testing, Live testing, and RCD testing– note that these tests will require the power to be turned off for a short amount of time! Ultimately, the duration of the inspection for the Electrical Safety Certification to be ready, may depend on the size and age of the property, the complexity of the property’s power systems, the number of circuits, and whether there are serious issues identified during the inspection.
Visual Inspection for Electrical Safety Certification
Tests for the electrical certificate include a Visual Inspection, Dead Testing, Live Testing, and, if needed, RCD testing. To begin, the electrician will inspect the property and the electrical systems in question to identify any obvious issues.
Dead Testing for Electrical Safety Certification
Next, Dead Testing will begin. The process of Dead Testing includes three parts: Insulation Resistance Testing, Continuity Testing, and Polarity Testing. These tests will determine whether there are any faulty electric connectors, check whether insulation where needed is present and functioning to prevent potential system shocks, and, ultimately, ensure that everything is properly connected.
Live Testing for Electrical Safety Certification
Collectively, these tests ensure that, if there is a major problem or emergency, the electric system is able to quickly shut down to prevent potentially dangerous situations and further damage.
RCD Testing for Electrical Safety Certification
RCD Tests may then be done on more modern electrical systems’ RCDs (Residual-Current Devices), which are in place for fire prevention purposes.
Will the engineer need to turn off the power?
Yes, there will be a short power outage whilst each circuit is tested.
How long does it take?
The duration in order for the electrical certificate to be ready varies greatly depending on the size of the property, number of circuits, complexity of the installation and what potential issues are discovered during the inspection. However, a small apartment can take around an hour with large homes sometimes taking up to 3 or 4 hours.
Can I fail the EICR?
Yes. Simply having the inspection carried out is not enough if you plan to rent the property. If the engineer deems any part of the system to be unsafe or not fit for purpose then they can mark the installation as ‘unsatisfactory’.
What are the legal implications when it comes to the electrical certificate?
The EICR – Electrical Certificate report must be given to all of the tenants before they occupy the property and when a new report is undertaken you must provide tenants with a new report within 28 days of the inspection.
Electrical faults cause almost half of all household fires in the UK and as a result, failure to comply with regulations is taken very seriously. The local authority is responsible for enforcement and they can issue civil penalties of up to £30,000 per breach of these regulations.
Where non-urgent work has been identified they must serve the landlord a notice detailing the work required and giving them 28 days to perform the work. The landlord may make representations to this within 21 days of the notice being served. If they do then the local authority must respond to these representations within 7 days. Until they respond the requirement to perform the work is suspended.
Lastly, if the local authority is satisfied the landlord is in breach and they have the tenant’s permission to do so, they may perform emergency remedial work on the property and bill the landlord for any costs incurred.
What should I expect from an EICR – Electrical Certificate inspection?
An inspection for the Electrical Safety Certification will consist of a Visual Inspection, Dead Testing, and Live Testing, and sometimes, RCD Testing.
The first step for your electrical safety certificate is pretty simple. The qualified engineer will survey the installation before carrying out any testing. This will help highlight 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.
There are three aspects to dead testing – Continuity Testing, Insulation Resistance Testing, and Polarity Testing. These three aspects check if there are any badly connected conductors, make sure that the insulation material surrounding the conductors is intact and that the connection is connected in the right sequence.
This testing is to make sure that if a fault did occur, the system meets the right requirements to cause a disconnection of the supply within a time limit specified.
On modern electrical systems there is also RCD testing – these are devices that are fitted to prevent fires.
That was all! Your electrical safety certification is now ready!
How often should I get an Electrical Safety Certificate?
In general, it is a good idea to have a visual inspection of a property’s electrical systems once per year. The full inspection for an Electrical Safety Certification, however, must now be done more frequently as per UK law: as of June 2020, the full inspection is mandatory at least once every five years. A new Electrical Safety Certificate must also be produced every time there is a change of tenants.
In addition to getting the electrical safety certificate every five years, you must also follow EICR guidelines to repair your property if the certificate issues after the inspection says repairs are urgently needed, as indicated by “unsatisfactory” EICR codes C2 and C1. When repairs are done, you must notify your tenants and your local authorities in writing so that they are able to stay up to date with the property’s safety status.
As a landlord, not following electrical safety certificate rules and regulations has consequences. In addition to potential legal ramifications for not following EICR guidelines (usually a fine), many insurance companies may not be willing to offer their services to you, or may reject repair claims if you fail to maintain your properties’ electrical systems.
What happens after the Inspection?
Getting the results of the electrical safety certification can sometimes take a few days as the engineer will need to upload his findings in a digital format which will then be emailed to you. If your property meets the required standard then your report will be marked as ‘satisfactory’. Should your EICR not meet current requirements, the report will be classed as “unsatisfactory” meaning that the required work needs to be done in order to bring the installation to the required level.
As well as returning an “unsatisfactory” result, the report will then detail which part of the electrical system failed the test and why. Work required is classified using the following codes:
Keep in mind that after the inspections are complete, the electrician who assessed the property may need a few days to issue the electrical safety certificate, as it may take a few days to upload and calculate findings online.
C1 – ‘danger is present’, risk of injury is likely and immediate action is required.
C2 – potentially dangerous and remedial action is needed urgently.
C3 – improvement to your electrical system is recommended. C3 is the only classification code that can appear on a report and still pass the EICR test.
If you receive a C1 fault on your electrical safety certificate, the assessor may shut-down the property, or, if viable, remedial work will be carried out immediately. If you receive a C2 code on your EICR, remedial work must be done to absolve the issue within 28 days as per UK law. Once the repairs are complete, the landlord must update tenants and local authorities in written form that the necessary repairs have been done on time. Once completed, the Landlord must provide written confirmation to both their tenant and local authority that the works have been carried out within the required 28 days.
Benefits of an up-to-date Electrical Safety Certificate
With the recent change in legislation it is vitally important that you act accordingly in order to make sure you and your properties are fully compliant. Just because you have a modern installation, or there have been no issues with it, it does not automatically mean that it is safe to use and meets the current guidelines.
EICR provides safety
As stated by the government statistics, around four people a day are injured or killed in fires connected with electrical faults, and electrical faults are the cause of almost half of all accidental UK house fires. Hence why every home should have a regular EICR – Electrical Certificate check to ensure that all electrics are safe.
EICR provides you insurance
More and more insurance companies are requesting that periodic inspection is carried out on a regular basis. It may be required that electrical testing is regularly carried out and evidenced as part of your policy agreement. In most cases, the EICR will tell the insurance company if the accident was avoidable and it can help strengthen your insurance claim.
EICR can save Money
Do not wait until the electrical system is not working properly because you may end up spending more money on the repairs. If potential problems are identified early, they can be rectified before creating any further damage. In addition, the electrical safety certificate offers solutions that improve the energy efficiency of the system and by reducing your energy consumption, you can also save money.
While the Electrical Safety Certification is mandatory under UK law, the certificate’s suggestions for energy efficiency and reducing energy consumption can also help you to save money. Remember, the EICR’s recommendations are tailored to be specific to your property: this means that you can follow its suggestions for keeping the property safe and keeping electricity usage to a minimum alike. If you have questions or would like further advice about electrical safety and efficiency, it’s also worth speaking to the electrician who issued the certificate for tips specific to your building.