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Electrical Safety Inspection: 4 Methods Used

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electrical safety inspection methods used

An electrical safety inspection is recommended for lots of appliances and installations within your business premises. It ensures your site is operating safely and highlights any issues that need to be addressed, either immediately or in the future.

To give you a better understanding, this post will run through some of the different types of electrical safety inspection and the methods used.

Types of electrical safety inspection

Electric installation condition report (EICR)

Also known as fixed wire testing, an electrical installation condition report is arguably the most vital type of electrical safety inspection for your premises. It comprises a full inspection of your building’s electrical system, including circuits, switchgear and accessories. The inspection looks at:

  • Defective work
  • Overloaded circuits
  • Shock risks
  • Fire hazards
  • Bonding and earthing
  • Wiring safety

Portable appliance testing (PAT)

Portable appliance testing is required for any appliance that needs to be plugged in to work. While “appliance” might make you think of refrigerators, printers or computers, it includes everything down to phone chargers, extension leads, toasters and kettles that are used on your site.

Fire alarms

Fire alarms are another electrical installation that must be inspected on a regular basis. That’s simply to ensure they’re working properly, in case they’re called upon. It’s no use having fire alarms in place if they’re not on stand-by when a fire breaks out. As such, fire alarms should be inspected twice a year.

Emergency lighting

Finally, there’s your emergency lighting. This is a legal requirement to illuminate a building and the exit routes in case of an emergency when power fails. To achieve this, it requires an electrical safety inspection annually.

Methods used for electrical safety inspections

1. Visual inspections

First and foremost is a visual inspection. This is a staple for any competent electrical contractor. Thanks to their qualifications and experience, contractors can spot a wide range of problems simply by looking at installations or appliances, including their wiring and general condition. A visual inspection is typically the first port of call for EICR, PAT testing, fire alarms and emergency lighting.

2. Live tests

Additionally, contractors will often use physical testing procedures to check the condition and performance of an appliance or installation. Live tests are conducted with the power on. These include:

  • Polarity testing, RCD testing and earth fault loop impedance testing for an EICR check.
  • For PAT testing, the appliance will be plugged into a testing device to check for earth continuity, insulation resistance and leakage.
  • The performance of fire alarms and emergency lighting will be tested, including a three-hour duration test for emergency lights.

3. Dead tests

On the other hand, there are dead tests. These are performed when the system or appliance has been disconnected from the mains power supply. Using an EICR as an example, an electrician will perform dead tests for continuity, insulation resistance and ring circuit loop impedance.

4. Electrical thermal imaging

Last but not least is electrical thermal imaging, which acts as an additional visual inspection to highlight faults or potential failures. Using infrared technology, thermal imaging devices identify excessive temperatures without the need to open any casing.

It goes beyond the naked eye but without any additional time required.

Book an electrical safety inspection

If you want to protect your business and employees, minimise disruption and save money in the long run, electrical inspections are a must. Volta Compliance has a wealth of experience in all areas of electrical testing and maintenance for businesses throughout Yorkshire.

To arrange an inspection, simply contact us on 0113 397 1361 or email [email protected].

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Richard Carr Volta Compliance
Richard Carr
Managing Director
Richard is the Director of Volta Compliance. He is a fully qualified approved electrician graded with the JIB. Richard has over 20 years electrical experience working on commercial and industrial installations.