Safety checks: condition reports and periodic inspections
Safety checks are intended to be done on houses and businesses at regular intervals to ensure the ongoing safety of the system and compliance with current electrical regulations. After a safey The intervals between inspections for domestic installations are indicated by the Electrical Safety Council as:
- 10 years for an owner-occupied home.
- 5 years for a rented home.
- 3 years for a caravan
- 1 year for a swimming pool.
- some clients request a visual inspection and a percentage test every year to ensure their home or rented property is as safe as can be.
Other times when a periodic inspection should be carried out are:
- When a property is being prepared for letting.
- Before selling a property or buying a previously occupied property.
For commercial properties, the recommended intervals are:
- 5 years for most businesses, offices, and shops, churches, pubs, and restaurants, or at each change of occupancy.
- 3 years for industrial installations.
- 3 years for places of public entertainment, including leisure complexes
- 1 year for caravan parks, marinas, fire alarms, launderettes, and petrol filling stations.
The Electricity At Work Regulations 1989 places legal responsibility on the owner of an electrical installation to prevent electrical accidents. These regulations call for all electrical systems to be maintained in a safe condition so that individual users may be protected from electrical shock or fire hazards.
A simple visual check can be done that involves no actual testing of the systems. While these are the cheapest and quickest, normally they are only suitable for newer installations where there is little chance that anything could have deteriorated (recommended for installations less than 5 years old).
Older installations normally benefit from a more thorough investigation that involves basic tests on the whole installation as well as sample-testing some of the lighting points, switches, and socket outlets. This sort of test takes longer and costs more, but it can identify hidden problems or dangers within the system not detectable when doing a visual inspection.
If problems are discovered, then it may become necessary to fully test the entire system to identify the extent to which the system is failing.
Following an inspection, a formal Condition Report form is completed and a copy is provided to the client for their records.
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For more information on Condition Reports, go to the Electrical Safety Council’s website.