Electrical Reports

At a glance...

  • Fully qualified and NICEIC registered contractors.
  • Periodic Reports. (This identifies problems with the electrics and lists repairs).
  • Lighting/power included.
  • Costings for repairs.
  • Report format acceptable to lenders.
  • You will have the report back in hand quickly.

There are many factors that can cause electrical systems to be unsafe. Apart from the usual wear and tear, there’s the less obvious risks posed by DIY ‘improvements’ or even rodent attacks on wiring. Maintaining adequate standards and safety of electrical systems are required by law but will also be of interest to your insurance company, landlord and mortgage loan company. Safety checks aren’t just a wise precaution … they can be a matter of life and death.

All of us are bound to comply with the Building Regulations and relevant legislation to ensure correct installation and safety of installations.

A Periodic Inspection Report is a check of the electrical circuits to ensure that they are safe and performing well. The report you receive includes details of defects and assesses the performance of the electrical system against the UK standards of safety for electrical installations. These are set out in BS (British Standard) 7671: 2008 (IEE Wiring Regulations 17th Edition).

The report details any areas where the installation falls short of the standard whether it is due to poor workmanship, age of the system and materials, or other causes. It then includes a list of recommended repairs or actions needed to make the installation safe or bring it up to standard.

Each report will vary, though these are some of the essential items included –

  • Client details and address of property
  • Extent of the inspection to be carried out with any limiting factors
  • A description of the main characteristics of the installation
  • A full schedule of what is inspected and areas that are tested
  • Results of completed tests
  • Report summary with recommended actions and repairs (these are often graded by priority)

As systems vary such a lot in their design and usage, the guidance is based on the maximum time that you should leave between tests. For domestic property, electrics should be tested at least every 10 years if the house is owner-occupied and 5 years if it’s tenanted. However, if there’s a change of owner or tenant in the property, then it would be sensible to have the electrics tested at that time, which is recommended.

Remember any alterations to an electrical system should be tested and certified by a qualified electrician.

At a Glance – Guide to recommended checks timescales

This test Guide gives a ready check for some common property types and uses –

Type of propertyRecommended checks between testsMaximum Period between electrical tests
Domestic N/A 10 years (or at time of change of occupancy)
Commercial 1 year 5 years (or at time of change of occupancy or use)
Offices 1 year 5 years
Shops 1 year 5 years
Industrial 1 year 3 years
Hospitals 1 year 5 years

Technical addendum – Also to note

Business owners or those responsible for commercial installations will be bound to comply with the provisions of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989.

These regulations came into force on 1 April 1990 and deal mainly with hardware standards and requirements. It is important for those in business to understand the main points covered which are summarised below –
Who is responsible under the regulations?

  • Employers, employees and the self-employed are all responsible and are required to comply with the regulations as far as matters are under their control.
  • Employees are required to cooperate with employees to ensure compliance with the regulations.
  • These are covered by Regulation 3.

The regulations also cover those who have responsibilities for the safety of electrical installations and systems as part of their normal duties of employment.

General safety of electrical systems

This is covered by Regulation 4 which requires that all electrical systems should be of safe construction and maintained in such a state, as far as reasonably practicable.
Work being carried out on or near systems must be carried out in such a manner as to avoid danger.

Any protective equipment provided must properly maintained and used and must be suitable for purpose.

Use of suitable equipment

Regulation 5 states that electrical equipment should not be connected into a system if there is a chance that its capability may be exceeded in such a way as to cause danger (risk of shock or fire etc).

  • Regulation 6 requires all electrical equipment that may be exposed to:
  • mechanical damage
  • the effects of the weather, natural hazards (animals, trees & plants etc)
  • the effects of wet, dirty, dusty or corrosive conditions
  • flammable or explosive substances

must be constructed in such a way or protected so that danger doesn’t arise.

Regulation 7 states that any conductor in a system should either be insulated or protected in some other way from giving rise to danger.

Regulation 8 requires that appropriate earthing be provided where required.

Regulation 9 requires earthing conductors not to have their electrical continuity broken by anything that could give rise to danger.

Regulation 10 states that all joints and connections must be suitable for safe use.

Regulation 11 says that  systems must be protected from excess current.

Isolation and ‘live’ or ‘dead’ working

All electrical equipment (except power sources themselves) must have secure and safe means of isolation from all sources of electrical energy (Regulation 12) and, when isolated, equipment shouldn’t become charged while work is in progress (Regulation 13).

Regulation 14 requires that working with live circuits should be carried out only when it is unavoidable and with the use of suitable protection.

Access, space and light

Regulation 15 deals with the need to provide adequate working space, access and lighting to ensure that work on electrical installations can be carried out safely.

Competence

Regulation 16 states that anyone working on electrical systems must have the relevant knowledge and experience (or be under the supervision of someone who has).

There are a number of other regulations which deal with content covered by these Regulations, for example the Electricity Safety, Quality and Continuity Regulations 2002; the Low Voltage Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1988 (made under the Consumer Protection Act 1987); the Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004: and the Cinematographic (Safety) Regulations, 1955.

For commercial property, records should be maintained of installation certification and all electrical systems should be checked and tested periodically. Duty holders are responsible for setting up, maintaining and monitoring the electrical systems and equipment.

All electricians need to be qualified and Specialist Xpress only uses those qualified and registered with NICEIC, which is the UK electrical contracting industry’s independent voluntary body.

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