What you need to know about an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR)

Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR)
Daniel Hanslip

The Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) was introduced in 2012 to replace the previously named Periodic Inspection Report, which covers specific tests and renders a property as satisfactory or unsatisfactory where electrical wiring is concerned. Fixed Wire Testing is the name for the type of electrical testing that is carried out as part of the Electrical Installation Condition Report.

So what is an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR)

Also known as Fixed Wire Testing or a Periodic Inspection Report, periodic electrical testing and inspection is legally required on any commercial premises or a residential property that is rented out to tenants to check the integrity of any electrical installations. An Inspection Report is carried out by a qualified electrician to highlight any problems that may need attention.

Why do you need to carry out Electrical Installation Condition Reports?

Electrical Installation Condition Reports (EICRs) involve Fixed Wire Testing to check the current condition of electrical systems in terms of their design and safety. Such Fixed Wire Testing is required in order to comply with the electrical wiring regulations covered by the Electricity at Work Regulations of 1989.

If regular inspection and testing is not carried out then either Landlords or Management at places of work may be prosecuted under the health and safety law. In addition to this any insurance claims resulting from faulty electrical installations would be invalidated without the regular testing being carried out.

Unfortunately all electrical installations will deteriorate with age and usage and therefore they need to be tested at regular intervals to protect against fires and save lives. This is important for commercial premises, Landlord owned properties and even domestic homes.

What does an EICR involve?

EICR’s involve Fixed Wire Testing on the condition of the electrical wiring, circuits and connections within your home or a commercial property. This involves a combination of both visual inspection and a series of tests to check the safety and integrity of the wiring. The report will also determine any defects, a lack of earthing or bonding, if equipment is overloaded, and potential for electric shock risks or fire hazards.

The final report you receive will identify where faults require urgent attention, hold potential danger or are simply recommended as areas for improvement. At the end of the EICR, and under the regulations of BS7671:2011, the report will then outline if the electric installation is considered either satisfactory or unsatisfactory and outline the reasons for this.

How often do you need an EICR?

Legally Fixed Wire Testing needs to be carried out in most work places every one to five years. However, the Electrical Wiring Regulations suggest the following time intervals for a variety of electric installations under BS7671.

  • Domestic premises (general) = 10 years/Change of Occupancy
  • Domestic premises (rented houses and flats) = 5 years/Change of Occupancy
  • Residential accommodation (HMO, halls of residence, nurses accommodation etc) = 5 years/Change of Occupancy (some local authorities ask for HMO properties to be tested every 3 years)
  • Commercial premises = 5 years/Change of Occupancy
  • Educational establishments = 5 years
  • Industrial premises = 3 years
  • Offices = 5 years
  • Shops = 5 years
  • Laboratories = 5 years
  • Hospitals and medical clinics (general areas) = 5 years
  • Hospitals and medical clinics (medical locations) = 1 year
  • Cinemas = 1-3 years (local authorities license should stipulate frequency)
  • Churches = 5 years
  • Leisure complexes (excluding swimming pools) = 3 years
  • Places of public entertainment = 3 years
  • Restaurants and hotels = 5 years
  • Theatres = 3 years
  • Public Houses = 5 years
  • Village halls/community centres = 5 years
  • Agricultural and horticultural = 3 years
  • Caravans = 3 years but should be reduced to every 1 year if used frequently.
  • Caravan parks = 1 year
  • Highway power supplies = 6-8 years
  • Marinas = 1 year
  • Fish farms = 1 year
  • Swimming pools = 1 year
  • Emergency lighting = 3 years – although luminaries should be discharge tested every 1 year
  • Fire alarms = 1 year
  • Launderettes = 1 year
  • Petrol filling stations = 1 year
  • Construction site installations = 3 months
  • Temporary installation = 3 months

It is important to adhere to these recommendations in order to stay on the right side of the law. In fact, it is now a requirement that those responsible be updated on when the next Electrical Installation Condition Report is due and provided with a fixed notice near the origin of installation, stating the required intervals of inspections and when the next one is due.

If you would like more information or to discuss your individual testing requirements with a member of our experienced team, please call 0800 909 8882 or request a callback.