What Is An Electrical Certificate And Why Do You Need One
Whether you’re interested in the electrical safety of your own home, or you’re a landlord, having a regular electrical safety certificate inspection visit carried out by professionals, provides you with the peace of mind that your family or tenants are safe.
The electrical installation condition reports (EICR’s), also known as the electrical landlord certificates, periodic inspections, or home condition reports, are essential for any homeowner, landlord, or tenant to maintain the safety of the electrical wiring in the property. If you’re not sure what an electrical certificate includes, what’s its cost, and why do you need one, read along to find out everything that you should know about electrical certificates.
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What Is An Electrical Certificate?
Electrical wiring and installations can decline over time or show signs of age, but one would never notice it until it’s too late. An electrical certification, or Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR), is what you’ll obtain after a certified electrical engineer has reviewed all the wiring of the property and meets the imperative safety standards. The EICR is technically a report but is generally referred to as a certificate.
The main job of an electrical engineer is to check the condition of the installation within the property and help pick up any electrical damages, faults, or wiring that doesn’t meet current regulations. At the moment, there is no strict law that requires you to have an EICR carried out on your property, even though current wiring regulations (regulation 135.1) state that you should keep your electricity in excellent working order and make sure they are safe.
Either way, it’s highly recommended you have an EICR inspection carried out every ten years, and for rental properties every five years, or at the change of tenancy.
How Much Does The Certificate Cost?
The standard electrical certificate cost ranges from £100 to £230 for a flat, and £150 to £400+ for a house depending on the extent of the house, and it will typically take around two to four hours. Electrical certificates for older homes may cost a bit more, particularly if they have outdated wiring, as it can cause a significant number of faults and may delay the process. These basic prices are for homes with a 10-circuit or less fuse board, which is what the most significant part of residential properties have.
In case you’re currently in the phase of building a new residential unit or adding an extension to your existing home, know that any electrical work needs to be self-certified by the electrician. If not, the local authority building regulations department will have to check the electrical work upon completion.
If you opt for an electrician that is a member of a competent person scheme to do the work, then they can self-certify and issue you the needed electrical certificate. Usually, this certificate is included in the quote for any work that requires it. If your electrician isn’t a member and they can’t self-certify, you will have to notify the construction control and pay a fee of around £350 depending on the council and the complexity of the work.
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Why Do You Need One?
UK law demands businesses to meet specific standards and codes regarding electricity in the workplace. The majority of these rules and regulations were set by the Landlords and Tenants Act of 1985 to defend tenants of rented buildings. Generally, the building owner is 100% responsible for ensuring that the facility is compliant with all UK laws.
Failing to secure the proper electrical certification could put building owners at risk of a lawsuit. For example, if an employee or a tenant injures themselves due to a defective electrical system and the building can’t demonstrate proof of certification, the injured party is likely to hold the owner of the facility liable for damages. Not only are the certificates necessary by law, but they are also a smart business decision. The cost of getting the commercial electrical certificate and updating a given building’s electrical system is far less than the cost of possible damages for which owners would be liable.
What’s Included In An Electrical Safety Certificate?
When a qualified electrical engineer is called upon to conduct a detailed electrical inspection report, they will be checking to see if any electrical circuits or electrical equipment are overloaded, if there are fire hazards and potential electric shock risks, as well as identify faulty electrical work. The engineer should conduct full and detailed checks on the following:
- Bonding and earthing adequacy tests.
- Suitability of the fusebox and whether it needs to be replaced.
- Servicing the sockets, switches, and light fittings to ensure they are up to date.
- Checking the condition of the wiring system.
- Location suitability of all electrical fixtures in the place.
- Checking for deterioration and damage to electrical equipment.
Once these checks are done, the electrical engineer will provide a full report, including details of all electrical fixtures and their condition. If any non-compliance is flagged for being dangerous or potentially dangerous, the property’s electrical safety will be deemed unsatisfactory, and repairs or replacements would have to be implemented immediately.
Who Should Carry Out The Electrical Certificate Inspection?
The electrical certificate inspection should only be carried out by accredited and competent persons, such as registered electricians and electrical engineers. These qualified workers should check the electrics’ condition against the UK standard for the safety of electrical wirings, BS 7671 – Requirements for Electrical Installations (IEE Wiring Regulations).
The electrical engineers should be NICEIC (National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting), ELECSA, or NAPIT-registered and fully equipped and qualified to carry out electrical certificates or domestic electrical installation condition reports.
The statistics are serious. At an average, four people per day are injured or killed due to an electrical fire, and electrical errors cause more than 50% of all fires in England. The leading cause of these errors? Cookers and ovens. Ensure that your electrics are in order, by having a professional check on them every now and then. The NICEIC recommends that the wiring in a house is checked at least once every ten years, or every time you move to a new place.