What is inspection and testing?

An EICR test, also known as an electrical installation condition report is a vital process that helps to validate and safeguard the electrical installations within buildings and properties. These tests are carried out by qualified electricians who have been accredited by the relevant bodies and can provide peace of mind for homeowners, landlords, and business owners.

The EICR tests are designed to identify any degradation and faults on an electrical installation which could pose a risk to individuals using the facility. This is a vital safety measure that can help to reduce the risk of fires and injuries caused by electrical faults, which happen on a daily basis in homes across the UK.

In order to carry out an eicr test, the electrician will first disconnect the electricity supply and then compare the installation against the standards set out in BS7671 Requirements for Electrical Installations. These tests will include an assessment of the safety of the electrical wiring, including circuits and equipment such as light fittings, switches, sockets and power points. The tests will also assess the presence of RCDs (Residual-Current Devices) which are installed to protect against electric shock and fire, and the extent of any visible damage or wear and tear on cable and leads.

Once the inspection is complete, the electrician will prepare a report that outlines the results of the EICR. This will indicate whether the installation is considered safe and up to date, or whether further investigation work needs to be done. In the event that further investigation work is required, it must be completed within 28 days unless otherwise specified in the report.

If the electrical installation is deemed to be unsafe, the electrician will issue an emergency repair report (ERR). This report will contain a list of the electrical work that needs to be undertaken along with an estimate of the cost. This work should be undertaken by a qualified electrician as soon as possible to ensure the electrical system is safe for use and to minimise the risk of any further damage or injury.

It is recommended that an EICR is undertaken every five years in residential properties, and more frequently for older electrical systems or those used in areas of higher risk such as swimming pools and kitchens. It is also a legal requirement for landlords to have an EICR carried out on their property before letting it to tenants.

Before the electrician arrives at your property for an eicr test, it is important to conduct a visual inspection of the facilities and make a note of any issues. This will help to minimize the number of problems that are identified during the actual testing process and will help to keep costs down. It is also a good idea to replace damaged extension cords and wires, tape extension cables and wires to floors and walls, and install ground fault circuit interpreters in places where there is a greater risk of electrocution, such as bathrooms and swimming pools.