Why have period inspections?
All electrical installations deteriorate with age and use. They should therefore be inspected and tested at appropriate intervals to check whether they are in a satisfactory condition for continued service. Such safety checks are commonly referred to as ‘periodic inspection and testing’.
Periodic inspections will:
Reveal if any of your electrical circuits or equipment are overloaded. Find any potential electric shock risks and fire hazards. Identity any defective electrical work. Highlight any lack of earthing or bonding. Tests are also carried out on wiring and fixed electrical equipment to check if they are safe. A schedule of circuits is also provided, which is invaluable for a property.
Electrical Inspections will assess:
The adequacy of earthing and bonding. The suitability of the switchgear and control gear. The serviceability of switches, sockets and lighting fittings. Items that may need replacing include: older round pin sockets and round light switches. The type of wiring systems and its condition. Sockets that may be used to supply portable electrical equipment for use outdoors, making sure they are protected by a suitable residual current device (RCD). The presence of adequate identification and notices. The extent of wear and tear, damage or other deterioration. Any changes in the use of the premises that have led to, or may lead to, unsafe conditions.
The competent person will then issue an Electrical Installation Condition Report detailing any observed damage, deterioration, defects, dangerous conditions and any non-compliance with the present-day safety standards that might give rise to danger.
How often is periodic inspection required?
- 10 years for an owner-occupied house
- 5 years for a rented home
- 3 years for a caravan
- 5 years for churches
- 3 years for office
- 5 years for commercial properties
- 3 years for industrial properties
- 1 year for swimming pools
Other times when a periodic inspection should be carried out:
- When a property is being prepared for letting
- Before selling a property or buying a previously occupied property