An EICR inspection (also known as fixed wire testing) is essential for keeping your electrical installations safe, but how often should you have one done?
Is an EICR required every year? Ever three years? Every five years? Every ten years?
If you're not sure how long an EICR is valid for, our handy guide will show you the frequency you should get EICR testing carried out.
Why do some properties need EICRs so often?
How long an EICR is valid for ultimately depends on how high-risk the environment is. The more risk, the more frequently EICRs need to be carried out.
High-risk factors include:
- The use of flammable gases and chemicals
- Wet and dusty environments
- Densely populated buildings - for example, the front of house in a cinema needs EICR testing every year as if a fire breaks out, people may find it hard to get out of the building
How often EICR inspections (fixed wire testing) should be carried out
An EICR every year
- Petrol stations
- Medical locations in hospitals (e.g. operating theatres)
- Fish farms
- Front of house in a cinema (i.e. the cinema screens and areas open to the public)
- Swimming pools
You only need to get the higher risk areas tested every year. For example, if you have a leisure centre that needs an EICR, you only need to get your sauna and swimming pool checked every year. An engineer only needs to inspect the rest of the building every three years.
An EICR every three years
- Spa hotels
- Leisure centres (excluding swimming pools)
- Caravan parks and caravans/static homes
- Cinema (back of house)
- Factories and industrial buildings
An EICR every five years
- Schools, colleges and universities
- Community centres
- Hospitals (general areas)
- Restaurants and cafes
An EICR every five years (or change of tenancy)
- Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs)
- Rental properties
If you have a HMO or rental property in England or Scotland, you must get an EICR every five years by law.
While it's not a legal requirement, it's recommended that you get an EICR when you buy a rental property, and in between tenancies.
An EICR every ten years
- Domestic houses
- Domestic flats
These timescales aren't set in stone
Ultimately the engineer carrying out the testing for you will specify the recommended retest period. This will depend on the environment and the overall condition of the electrical installation.
For example, if you have an office with a very old electrical installation, your engineer may advise you have another test carried out in three years rather than five.
Remember that as duty holder, it is your responsibility to ensure that your buildings' electrical installations are in a safe condition and compliant with the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989.
EICR inspections can help you achieve this, as well as ensure the safety of tenants, staff and visitors.
Contact us today to find out more about the services we provide, and to receive your bespoke EICR quote.
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