In this post, we’ll take a closer look at how long an EICR lasts for your business or the facilities you manage.
To understand EICR validity, it’s important to consider how the reports actually work. EICR refers to a thorough inspection and test of a building’s electrical system. The assessment checks for defective work, overloaded circuits, shock risks, fire hazards and any unsafe wiring.
Once it’s complete, you receive an EICR certificate – the actual report – which outlines any issues that have been identified. These can vary from C1 (danger present) and C2 (potential danger) where urgent remedial work is needed, to C3 (no immediate danger) and FI (further investigation required).
Your EICR is valid from the day the report is produced by a qualified and competent electrician. The electrician will specify the maximum duration that you should wait until your next periodic inspection.
Ultimately, an EICR is a way of checking your electrical installation is working safely, efficiently and compliantly. The report can be used to demonstrate that you have kept your electrical installation in order.
How long that remains the case is another question. The British Standards Institute, which sets the standard for electrical installations (BS 7671), recommends that commercial premises have an EICR at least every five years. However, this is just a guideline and the frequency will depend on a number of factors, such as the nature of the premises, how high-risk the environment is, the age and quality of the installation, who is using it and how often, guidance from the manufacturer and how well the equipment is maintained.
Similarly, landlords are legally obliged to have an EICR at least every five years from April 2021. While the legal requirement isn’t the same for business owners and facilities managers, this does provide a broad ball-park figure for roughly how long an EICR lasts. That said, the electrician’s recommendation on your EICR report will provide a clear answer.
While five years is a reasonable estimate of how long an EICR is ‘valid’ for, you should also take into account the type of installation being tested, how often it’s used and the environment within which it’s situated.
High-risk environments may need testing more frequently than five years. That includes those exposed to moisture or extreme temperatures like swimming pools, saunas or laundrettes, as well as places that are open to the public such as cinemas, hospitals and petrol stations.
The maximum period between tests will be outlined by your EICR inspector on the report. If you want to show that you’ve taken action to keep your electrical installation in good working order, you must stick to their recommendation.
If you’re concerned that your EICR is no longer valid, the team at Volta Compliance is here to help you put things right. Our fully qualified electricians provide EICR tests and certificates for commercial and industrial premises in and around Leeds.
We’ll make sure your electrical system is safe, before recommending how long your EICR should last before your next inspection. Get in touch with us today for expert advice on keeping your EICR valid or to arrange a free, no obligation quote.