A quick and simple guide to EICR

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An Electrical Inspection Condition Report (or EICR) is a document which details the findings of an inspection that has been conducted on a property’s wiring. Fixed wire testing is undertaken in order to assess the safety of it as fires in properties (both commercial and residential) can easily be caused by faults in wiring.

An inspection must be carried out by a qualified electrician and should be completed regularly to maintain the security of the electrical wiring in a commercial property. Not only can there be risks to the building itself in the event of a fire, but stock, equipment and machinery can also be damaged. There is also a clear need to carry out the inspection as part of the health and safety procedures to preserve the wellbeing of staff and customers who might be in the property at the time too.

Why is an EICR needed?

Electricity cannot be seen and it is often carried via wires that are hidden away. Commercial properties in particular can place a heavy load on the electrical elements and as such, wear and tear is extremely likely to occur. As companies develop, they may require more power sources too, meaning additional load is placed on systems which might not be able to handle it. Adaptations might also be made which can affect what is in place.

An issue as small as part of the rubber casing around a wire splitting could allow a spark to form and if this happens near flammable material, a fire could quite easily start. Again, as much wiring is hidden from you behind walls and casing units, it is imperative they are checked so any signs of these problems starting can be remedied before any serious implications occur.

What does an EICR actually cover?

  • The EICR will record all the findings of the inspection
  • It will verify the safety of any wiring or installations in place until the point of the next inspection
  • To highlight any wear and tear so that it can be fixed before an issue is caused
  • To identify any items (eg appliances) that might be a source of high temperatures which could result in a fire
  • To highlight where the electrics do not meet the necessary regulations so they can be rectified and re-certified
  • It serves as a marker in time of the condition of installations and wiring which can be used for any future building works, changes to the system or indeed for the next inspection

The inspection will include both a visual appraisal in addition to the physical testing of the wiring as they both play an important role in assessing the safety of the systems. In order for the tests to be done properly, a qualified and certified electrician must carry them out and must sign the EICR to validate it.

The threat to property that comes from faulty wiring, wear and tear or additional load placed on it, however small it may seem is huge and can of course endanger lives. It is for that reason that an EICR is critically important and must be carried our regularly by trained professionals.