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Fixed Wire Testing: What It Is and Why It’s So Important for Business Owners

Posted in
Date
17/02/2021
Fixed Wire Testing What It Is And Why It’s So Important For Business Owners

While owning a business has plenty of benefits, it also comes with various responsibilities. One of those is fixed wire testing, which is required periodically. Beyond the legal obligation, it’s an important step to prevent unnecessary damage to your building or harm to those using it.

In this post, we’ll discuss exactly what fixed wire testing entails and why it’s so important for you and your business.

What is fixed wire testing?

As the name suggests, fixed wire testing is an assessment of the ‘fixed wires’ in your building. In other words, the permanent electrical setup rather than small or large appliances which are connected to it.

Mains panels, distribution boards, light fittings, sockets and switches all conduct electricity throughout your building, which naturally means they carry a certain level of risk if they’re not up to scratch. A fixed wire test will look at all of these components in line with the BS 7671 regulations.

Electrical Installation Condition Report

Fixed wire tests carried out by a qualified electrician will come with an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR). This report will outline any issues that have been identified during the test, which may include:

  • Defective work
  • Unsafe wiring
  • Shock risks
  • Fire hazards
  • Overloaded circuits
  • Lack of bonding

Each problem will be categorised by level of danger it presents, from C1 danger present to C3 (improvement recommended). Issues can also be categorised as FI, meaning further investigation is required.

Why is fixed wire testing important?

It is recommended that your installation is inspected periodically. The maximum period between your tests will be outlined on your EICR by the inspector and is based on three main factors:

  • The type of electrical installation
  • How often facilities are used
  • The environment it’s exposed to or other external influences

As an example, the wet environment of a swimming pool or sauna would require annual inspections. A busy industrial unit would typically need tests every three years. However, for a standard office or retail space, testing every five years would suffice.

Failure to comply will put you in breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974) as well as the Electricity at Work Regulations (1989). This could land you in a sticky (and costly) situation if any accidents occur on your site.

That brings us onto another reason fixed wire testing is important – the safety of your staff. It also prevents damage to your building, which will cost significantly more to repair than the small issues identified in a test. It's also important to note that if you have a fire in your building that is caused by an electrical fault and you don't currently have an in date EICR then your insurance policy company cover may be compromised.

Book your fixed wire test

Whether it’s the safety of your staff, legal compliance or cost management, fixed wire testing provides total peace of mind with regards to your electrical system.

At Volta Compliance, we provide fixed wire testing and EICR reports for businesses throughout Leeds. We’ll make sure your electrical installation is safe and fully functional, and recommend the right frequency for testing going forward.

To find out more, call 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.