ELECTRICITY is the second largest cause of fire in the UK and the number of electrical accidents are increasing. It is therefore essential that all installations are properly inspected, tested and maintained if the dangers of fire and accidents are to be avoided or minimised.
The current regulations for electrical installations are BS 7671: 2008 Requirements for Electrical Installations (IEE Wiring Regulations 17th Edition). Compliance with these regulations and the subsequent issue of certificates of conformity are not a specific requirement, but are invariably insisted upon by insurance companies.
However, there is also a legal duty of care under the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 for all electrical installations in work places to be maintained as to be safe. It is likely therefore that in the event of an accident the authorities will look at the wiring regulations as the benchmark for standards that should have been adopted. Compliance with the above regulations, and following other guidance referred to below, will go some way to satisfying obligations under the existing regulations.
Appropriate tests and inspections as detailed in the wiring regulations should be carried out. Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR’s) are the prescribed means of checking compliance of an electrical installation with the wiring regulations and they should be carried out at the recommended frequency:-
|Buildings open to the public (restaurants, hotels, etc)
|Commercial premises, Education establishments and Hospitals plus domestic rented property
|Industrial, Agricultural and Horticultural premises
|Special installations including Launderettes and Petrol filling stations
The above intervals are maxima and site conditions may suggest more frequent testing.
All Wiring should be tested and inspected by a National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contractors (NICEIC) or Electrical Contractor’s Association (ECA) Approved contractor, at the recommended intervals. Following each scheduled PIR, remedial work should be carried out as necessary and an appropriate Installation Certificate issued.
Click here for more details...