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EICR Certificate: What Should you Know?
In recent times, goverments of different countries have made it a point of duty to enact laws that protect the well-being of tenants living in rented properties. The protection offered to these tenants covers gas safety checks as well as electrical safety checks.
As a tenant or even a landlord, it is imperative that you are well informed about electrical safety checks and electrical safety certificate (EICR for short).
If you have questions about electrical safety certificate, keep reading as most your concerns will be addressed.
What is an Electrical Safety/ EICR Certificate?
An Electrical Safety Certificate or EICR Certificate for short is a document that is issued to a property owner by a qualified and competent electrician after a thorough inspection of the property’s electrical systems have been conducted.
The inspection is conducted to find out if there are any malfunctions or defects in the building’s electrical installations which can potentially cause harm to life or property. Once the inspection is complete and the building is confirmed to be electrically safe, then you will be issued the EICR certificate.
Is it Mandatory to Obtain an EICR Certificate?
Laws governing the safety of tenants and the responsibility of landlords towards their tenants have become more stringent.
Rented properties are required by law to have valid Electrical Safety Cetificate. In the same vein if you are running a business, you have a duty of care to ensure that your employees are safe from any electrical hazards.
Thus, you will need to get the property inspected and consequently obtain the Electrical Safety Certificate.
However, if you own your home, the law does not mandate you to get the safety certificate for the building.
But it is advisable that you conduct an electrical safety check on the property at least once every 10 years. This is solely for your safety and that of your household.
You should know that if you intend to sell your private property, then you will be expected to obtain a valid safety EICR certificate.
Who has the Right to Issue an Electrical Safety Certificate?
The law states that only qualified and competent electricians are allowed to carry out electrical safety checks and are consequently allowed to issue an EICR Certificate.
A qualified electrician is one who has undergone proper trainings (this includes regular inspections of electrical systems) and has taken the required courses and is also registered with scheme providers that ensure adherence to decent safety standards.
You should not hesitate ask the electrician you choose to hire what scheme providers they are registered with. You can also request to see his electrical certifications as these serve as proof that the contractor is a qualified and competent electrician. Some notable accreditation agencies in the UK include Napit, Elecsa, and Stroma.
Once a Electrical Safety Certificate is issued for a rented property, it is valid for 5 years although it is recommended that you renew the certificate at the beginning of a new tenancy.
What does the Electrician Check for during the EICR check?
Before an EICR certificate can be issued to you, an electrical safety check has to be done by a qualified electrician.
The electrician inspects the property to see if there are any defects in the property’s electrical system. The safety check consists of a visual check of the electrical installations as well as a detailed inspection of important parts of the installation. Important parts such as main system cables and distribution boards.
Light fittings, sockets and switches are also checked before an EICR Certificate can be issued.
Inspections for an EICR certificate will also include visual inspections (Dead testing, RCD testing and live testing). You should know that during the inspection for the safety certificate, the electricity will need to be shut down for some time for the safety of the electrician.
How long the inspection would take will depend on different factors such as:
- The size of the building.
- The number of circuits.
- How fast the electrician is.
- And more importantly, the simplicity or complexity of the property’s electrical system.
Can you Fail the EICR Certificate Process?
The simple answer is YES. If the electrician notes any part of the property to be electrically unsafe, he can mark the safety certificate as unsatisfactory and you would have failed the EICR Certificate process.
Are There Any Penalties for Not Complying with the EICR Certificate Regulations?
Majority of home fire accidents in the UK occurs as a result of faulty electrical installations. The authorities take safety certificate regulations very seriously and as a result, non-compliance with these regulations can attract heavy penalties.
Local authorities are in charge of enforcing safety certificate regulations. If you are in breach of any of these regulations, you can be fined up to the sum of £30,000 depending on the gravity of the offence. If there is a loss of life as a result of a landlord’s defiance to the safety certificate regulations, criminal proceedings might be instituted against such landlord.
Landlords are required to give their tenants (both old and new tenants) a copy of the electrical safety report.
When a new safety check is conducted and a new report is issued a landlord is expected to provide tenants with a copy of the report within 28 days after the safety check was conducted. This is one important regulation landlords should be aware of.
Finally, if the authorities have identified a landlord that is in breach of regulations, they can seek permission from the tenants and carry out corrective works on the property while the landlord will be billed for the costs incurred.
Hire a Qualified Electrician Today!
If you require a qualified and competent electrician who can carry out the safety checks and issue you an EICR certificate.
Our electricians are qualified and have the proper certifications. You can contact us on our website. You can be assured that our prices are reasonable and our services are one of the best around.
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