EICR is the shortened form of Electrical Installation Condition Report. It is nothing different but a periodic inspection report on the safety aspect of a property related to its electrical system. The report is also known as the “Landlord Safety Test” or the “Home buyers Test”.
The test is to be conducted by a qualified and competent electrician. As per recommendations you should better carry out the test on your home every ten years. For rental properties it has to be carried out every 5 years or when there is a change of tenancy, which one is earlier.
The objective of an EICR test is to ensure the residents of a property are electrically safe and are not susceptible to electrical fires and shocks.
Do I really need an EICR?
We cannot see electricity with our eyes. In many instance you can neither see the cables and conduits that carry electricity. CUs or consumer units are placed inside cupboards and cables are usually hidden behind walls. As a result those are not immediately visible to the eyes. Thus it is not surprising at all that we keep forgetting to check the condition of those installations for signs of wear and tear as well as damages.
One of the prime reasons for electrical fires in homes is old, worn out and faulty wiring. Routine and periodic checking of the wires, cables, sockets and switches reduces the risk of fires. When you see those installations are in good condition, you know there is nothing to worry. Alternatively when you see a switch or cable in worn out state you get it immediately replaced and ensure electrical safety in your home.
It is already mentioned above that you are recommended to get an EICR done for your home every decade. First you should look for tell tale signs that the electrics in your home are already outdated and then you get an EICR testing. But what are those tell tale signs that you should look out for? Here are few tips –
You should better look out for the following signs –
- Black or brown switches
- The fuse box has a wooden back
- The switches of the fuse box is made of cast iron or the fuse box is a mixture of both
- There are round pin sockets or switches from the good old days
- The sockets are mounted on skirting boards
- Fixed cables that are either coated in lead, fabric or rubber jacket
- Braided flex is hanging from the ceiling fixture
Each of these features indicates the electrics were installed latest in the 1960s. By now that have become obsolete and you are in a serious need of an electrical testing for your property as soon as possible.
All electrical installations – irrespective of their age – are prone to natural wear and tear. Thus, it is absolutely sensible and logical to get an electrical check done every 10 years or if you are moving to a new address.
The main objective of an EICR
An EICR certificate is meant to cover the following aspects –
- keep record of the result of the inspection to make sure all your electrical installations are safe till the next inspection is due
- Find any damage or wear and tear in your electrical system that may compromise with your safety
- Locate any component in the said electrical system that does not meet the wiring regulations
- Identify any component in your electrical system that may lead to incidents of electrocution or high temperature
The report proves helpful for future inspections.