What is an EICR ?
An EICR, or Electrical Inspection Condition Report (Electrical Certificate), 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 the residential or commercial buildings are thoroughly tested and inspected.
Do I need an EICR Certificate?
Legislation has recently changed and now states that from July 1st 2020, privately rented properties will need a valid EICR - Electrical Certificate for all new tenancies and renewals. If you have an existing tenancy you have until April 1st 2021 in order to get your electrical certification report.
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 home owner, it is not a legal requirement to have an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR). 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.
What is the purpose of an EICR - Electrical Safety Certificate?
An EICR must include a complete record of all checks performed to assure legal compliance.
The report will include any proposed corrective steps or changes that landlords will either need to do to secure certification or to consider in the future to keep the property as safe as possible if faults or potential concerns in electrical safety are discovered.
The electrical safety Test and Inspection's goal is to;
Determine whether there are any possible safety hazards in the property's wiring and permanent installations (lights, sockets, fixtures, electric storage boiler etc.).
Identify any electrical work that has been inadequately completed and is either harmful or potentially hazardous.
Check that no electrical circuits or equipment is overloaded
Check that the earthing and bonding are correctly installed and that there is a low enough Earth Fault Loop Impedance on each circuit to trip the circuit breakers (MCB's) or residual current detectors (RCD's or RCBO's) within time limits in the case of a short circuit.
How long is the Electrical Certificate 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.
What exactly is an EICR, and what information does it contain?
You will receive an EICR - Electrical Installation Condition Report following the test and Inspection. This report will include the following information:
Details about the properties that were evaluated, as well as who conducted the tests.
Any limitations?(For example, if only a proportion of the installations were tested or if some circuits were not able to be turned off).
In accordance with the 18th edition wiring requirements, whether the inspection was satisfactory or unsatisfactory (i.e. 'pass' or 'fail') (BS 7671)
A list of all the problems found, along with their categorization codes. Individual rooms or areas will be divided down.
An inspection schedule that shows what was tested and the results of each test.
We will produce a quote for any work that may need to be undertaken to make the installation safe.
How much does an EICR Certificate cost?
Book your Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) from just £119.00 with TICS- The EICR Shop. We are confident that the pricing we offer is the most competitive in the market and our rates are not ‘before’ VAT. All relevant taxes are included.
If you are a landlord with multiple properties, you can benefit from our generous discounts for block bookings.
What does an EICR check?
The EICR Test and Inspection is performed 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.
Whether there are serious issues identified during the inspection.
Tests for the electrical certificate include a Visual Inspection, Dead Testing, Live Testing, and RCD testing.
#1 Visual Inspection for Electrical Safety Certification
To begin, the electrician will inspect the property and the electrical systems in question to identify any obvious issues.
#2 Dead Testing for Electrical Safety Certification
Next, Dead Testing will begin. The process of Dead Testing includes two parts: Insulation Resistance Testing, and Continuity Testing..
These tests will determine whether there are any faulty electrical connections, check whether the insulation on the cables is degrading due to age. And ultimately, ensure that everything is properly connected.
#3 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.
#4 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 additional protection.
Will the Engineer need to turn off the power?
Yes, for the duration of the test whilst each circuit is tested.
How long does it take?
The duration in order for the EICR Certificate - Electrical Certificate to be ready varies greatly depending on;
The size of the property.
The number of circuits.
The complexity of the installation.
What potential issues are discovered during the inspection.
However, a small apartment can take around 45 minutes with large homes sometimes taking up to 2 hours.
Can I fail the EICR Certificate?
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 - EICR Certificate?
The Electrical Installation Condition 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 happens if I fail to follow Electrical Safety Regulations?
Contrary to common belief, most landlords do not enjoy the large profit margins that many believe they do.
With mortgage payments, agency fees, and the expense of upkeep and maintenance, many landlords only make a marginal return on their homes.
The cost of an electrical certificate UK, on the other hand, pales in relation to the possible penalties of non-compliance.
Am I required to perform the actions listed in my EICR?
Any recommendation made in an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) is not legally enforceable.
However, if an accident involving your fixed electrical system occurs and your Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) contains suggestions that you did not implement, you will be found to have breached your legal obligations, and both you and your organisation might face criminal prosecution.
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 EICR 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 issued 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 Certificate 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 for the EICR Certificate?
Getting the results of the electrical safety certification can sometimes take a few days as the engineer will need to upload his findings, these are then checked by our QS's and a digital report is produced, 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 certificate 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.
In an EICR examination, four codes are utilised. If you acquire any C1, C2, or F1 codes on an EICR inspection, it will be categorised as 'unsatisfactory.'
Work required is classified using the following codes:
C1 - Danger is present, risk of injury is likely and immediate action is required.
In an EICR Inspection this is the code with the highest importance. If the problem is not fixed as quickly as is feasible, there is a risk of electric shock or fire. Exposure of live electrical parts, damaged insulation, or broken light switches/plug sockets where live parts are exposed are all examples of C1 codes.
To fix a C1 code, either the problem must be fixed or the relevant part/circuit must be isolated and turned off.
C2 - Potentially dangerous and remedial action is needed urgently.
This indicates that while this defect is not immediately harmful in the same way that a C1 code is, it has the potential to become so under fault conditions or in the future. The absence of main equipotential bonding or earthing, or an RCD that does not trip when tested, are examples of C2 codes.
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.This indicates that this section of the installation does not comply with the current wiring codes, although it poses no imminent hazard. Alternatively, enhancing it would improve the electrical installation's safety.
Consider this code to be a MOT 'advisory note.' You are not required to get it repaired, but it is strongly suggested that you do so.
FI- Immediate further investigation is necessary.
This code indicates that the electrical engineer has detected a problem, but that further investigation is required. They will be able to evaluate the severity of the problem after they have done so.
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 certificate, 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.
What are the benefits of an up-to-date EICR 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 regulations.
Electrical Safety Certification provides you with 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 check to ensure that all electrics are safe.
Electrical Safety Certification provides you with 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.
Electrical Installation Condition Reports, (EICR)
Emergency Lighting testing
Emergency lighting is covered by British Standards BS 5266-1: 2011. If you are responsible for residential hotels, clubs, hospitals, nursing homes, schools and colleges, licensed premises, offices, museums, shops, multi-storey dwellings, etc. then you are must have emergency lighting too. Please note that BS 5266-1: 2011 are the minimum standards required, it is advised that installations are to a higher calibre. Emergency lighting can be either: ‘Emergency escape lighting,’ ‘Standby lighting.’ ‘Escape route lighting,’ ‘Open area lighting,’ or ‘High risk task area lighting.’ They can also be either ‘Self-Contained,’ ‘Single Point,’ or ‘Central Battery Source’ operated. It is important to have a professional assess the specific needs for each installation. Emergency lighting systems should be visually inspected monthly for damage and annually, a full 3hr battery drain test needs to be conducted.
Thermal Imaging Survey
Infrared (thermal imaging) is a very modern, non-invasive technology that allows testing engineers to assess potential problems with the fixed wiring in buildings that can’t be revealed using conventional inspection methods. The reports and images created are just as important as the reports generated for traditional inspections. The beauty of utilising Thermal Imaging reports, is that the results are uniquely accurate and in some cases, essentially instant, so that any faults or issues that are not obvious to the naked eye, can be found and flagged quickly, and safely.
EICRs must be kept for the lifetime of the installation they are related to. They should be available for any following inspections. We use MyDocs to safely and securely share our reports with you. It also means you can share any further documents with us too such as building certifications or floor plans, by simply uploading them to your customer portal. Your new EICR report will include such things as the items inspected and tested, the circuit details and test results, observations and recommendations and of course, full details of any problems, faults and issues that must be addressed. This helps you gain a full understanding of the state of the electrical installation, and what you need to do to ensure it is compliant with regulations. We also provide the full premises report service to include Electrical, Gas, Fire and Air Con certification.
To ensure the ongoing integrity of any electrical installation within a building, any faults or issues must be fixed within a certain time frame, 28 days if a rental. These faults and issues are identified by such processes as ‘Fixed Wire Testing’ and a ‘Thermal Survey.’ The remedial work is necessary to address those problems and must be undertaken in compliance with safety rules and regulations. Remedial work can cover such things as: “damage, deterioration, defects and dangerous conditions within the installation.” You will receive your EICR report and it may contain ‘C1,’ ‘C2,’ or ‘C3’ codes, or ‘further investigation’ recommendations. C3 codes do not legally require action, but it is advised, whereas C1 and C2 do need action to be taken as they do mean that the relevant installation elements do not meet the correct standards and are therefore not compliant with Health and Safety legislation and/or are potentially dangerous.
Grade A Fire Alarm system
Grade A fire alarm systems have the following requirements;
Manual Call Points.
Central Control Panel.
They are usually found in a commercial property, but can also be installed in homes.
Grade D Fire Alarm System:
A Grade D fire alarm system is usually interlinked smoke/Heat alarms, this system can be found in most domestic properties.
A full test of the fire alarm system should be carried out every 6 months. The test should be carried out by a competent person. The fire alarm test should be carried out in accordance with BS5839 part 1 section 6. Once the test is completed it should be put in the log book. On completion of your fire alarm testing you should receive a fire alarm certificate.
Tests Carried Out
All smoke and heat detectors will be tested for functionality. Bells and sounders will be operated and assessed to ensure that they provide sufficient sound levels in all areas. Fire panels, their batteries and all cable joints where accessible will be checked for integrity and functionality.
Asset Register (inventory of all items tested, together with locations)
Test Data (results of tests carried out on all detectors)
Detailed instructions to client regarding interim testing requirements and method of achieving them)
Log Book (document for client to record all interim routine tests and any remedial actions required and subsequently taken)
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