Not just a tick box exercise
When it comes to electrical testing, the safety of the installation is the key priority. It can be tempting to view this important element of a building’s safety as just another compliance exercise – as long as the paperwork is completed and ‘satisfactory’ that is where the duty of the property manager or landlord ends.
Although technically that is correct, there are certain points everyone should still look out for.
Select the right contractor
In November 2018 Pembrokeshire electrician Mark Cummins was fined £1,500 for submitting a ‘satisfactory’ electrical report which was later found to be potentially dangerous.
A Court heard that Mr. Cummins took less than an hour to do the inspection and issued an Electrical Installation Condition Report to the vendor the same day, containing the written statement describing the electrics in the property as “satisfactory” and listed no concerns despite estimating the electrics to be 40 years old. An independent report deemed the property unsatisfactory and in need of a complete re-wire.
Clr. Cris Tomos commented “When members of the public request the input of professionals they deserve to be able to rely on the information received.”
Unfortunately, this can happen relatively often as the persons/organisations ordering the work, do not have the knowledge to challenge Electrical reports and completely rely on trust.
Believe it or not! These pictures were recently taken by A S Ramsay in a high end block. The property manager had no idea how serious the issues were. (all the above photos are of live equipment)
How to spot a good EICR
As a customer or managing agent it can be tempting to skip straight to the first page and look for the word “SATISFACTORY” or “UNSATISFACTORY” and act accordingly, however an EICR is made up of several pages of important information and here are some things to look out for:
Observations page – This section should contain the details of all non-compliances. It is extremely rare for an installation to have a clean sheet or one or two observations, generally most installations will have a fair amount of C3 observations especially if it is old. These issues may not be compliant with current regulations however they do not affect the property from gaining a satisfactory certificate, a good contractor would generally discover several of these items – if this section is blank, you should be concerned!
Test Results – This can often look like a page of senseless numbers and unless you are a trained electrician a lot of this will not make sense. However, you can look out for the abbreviation “LIM” this stands for limitation, which simply means this item has not been tested or something has prevented the electrician from carrying out the test. It is always a good idea to ask your electrician for clarifications on these items.
Comments on existing installation – This should never be left blank, rather it should contain a detailed summary of the condition of the install including, but not limited to, earthing and condition of existing wiring and accessories.
Choose a company you can trust
A S Ramsay are registered with the NIC EIC and are regularly inspected to make sure our installations are being carried out to a high standard. It is essential that all persons responsible for arranging Electrical testing make sure the contractor holds the correct accreditation. If in doubt you can check contractor’s status at www.niceic.com