Why you should consider having a home safety check (EICR)

An Electrical Installation Condition Report or an EICR is a safety check conducted by an electrician to report on the state of the electrical installation in your home – think of it like a MOT for a building.
For privately owned domestic properties, it’s not a statutory requirement to have an EICR, it’s just a good idea. It’s advisable that the electrical installation of your property is tested and inspected at regular intervals and no longer than once every ten years.
Prior to 2012 the EICR was known as a Periodic Inspection Report or a PIR.
So, why should you consider having an EICR? Read on to find out…
I’m going to tell you what happens when an electrician comes to your home to carry out an electrical inspection.

The inspection is based on the electrical system of each individual household and includes the following:
The electrician is there to ensure there’s no damage to any electrical installations.
As part of the EICR your electrician will conduct a visual inspection to look out for damaged or broken plug sockets, switches, light fittings and fuse-boards and also signs of overheating and burning.
The suitability of the switchgear and control-gear. For example an old fuse-box with a wooden back, cast iron switches, or a haphazard mixture of both will need replacing.
To determine if electrical devices are installed in the right locations
For example, wall mounted light switches shouldn’t be installed inside bathrooms.
To check you’re earthing arrangements.
As part of the EICR your electrician will check that your earthing system is suitable for your electrical installation. It is vital that you have adequate earthing for both the protection of you and others in your property and the property itself.
The adequacy of earthing and bonding.
The serviceability of switches, sockets and light fittings. The following may all require replacing; older round pin sockets, round light switches, braided flex hanging from ceiling roses to light fittings, black switches and sockets mounted in skirting boards.

The type of wiring system and its condition. For example cables coated in black- rubber were phased out in the 1960s, likewise cables coated in lead or fabric are even older and may well need replacing (modern cables use pvc insulation).
The provision of residual current devices for sockets that may be used to plug in outdoor electrical equipment.
The presence of adequate identification and notices.
The extent of any wear and tear, damage or other deterioration.
The changes in house which have led to, or may lead to, problematic wiring.
Your electrician will check if Residual Current Devices (RCDs) are installed and if they are, they will check if they offer adequate protection from electric shock.
To determine just how much a risk any possible issues are, your electrician will code them on the report from C1, C2, C3 or FI.
Understanding the codes

Code C1 – Danger present: With this issue there’s a risk of injury and immediate remedial action is required to remove the dangerous condition.

Code C2 – Potentially dangerous condition: Urgent remedial action required, this should declare the nature of the problem, not the remedial actions required.

Code C3 – Improvement recommended: This code more often than not implies that while the installation may not comply with current regulations, it complies with previous regulations and is deemed safe but its safety could be improved.
FI – Further Investigation is required.

At the end of the inspection you will receive a written report telling you of the condition of your home electrical system.

If you would like to book an EICR or you think your installation has any issues or you think there are any other underlying problems with your installation then contact me now to arrange a visit.