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Validating Electrical Compliance in Social Housing

Posted in
Date
14/01/2021
Validating Electrical Compliance In Social Housing

As a social housing provider, it’s your responsibility to provide a safe, secure and inhabitable environment for all tenants. Electrical compliance is a key part of this, with unsafe wiring and electrical fixtures posing a serious risk to anyone inside the property.

So, how do you make sure your social housing stock is compliant with the relevant regulations? And how do you validate that compliance to avoid any complications in future?

What does electrical compliance cover?

Every house requires a full electrical system with a number of fixtures and devices. With this comes several potential hazards, ranging from poor installation and exposed wiring to overloaded sockets.

There are also several must-haves from a compliance point of view, with the Government outlining five key electrical safety features:

  • Modern PVC wiring
  • Modern earthing
  • Modern consumer units
  • Miniature circuit breakers
  • Residual Current Devices

Unfortunately, not all social housing complies with these. According to the Electrical Safety Roundtable, 26% of social housing in England does not have the recommended five electrical safety features installed. On top of that, 12% of social housing failed to meet the Government’s Decent Homes criteria in 2018.

With 9% of all fires caused by electrical problems and over 600 annual A&E visits down to electric shocks, it’s fair to say this isn’t an area where you should cut corners.

Checking electrical safety

To avoid any electrical issues, social housing should be regularly inspected across several key areas:

  • Electrical intake where electricity enters the property
  • The consumer unit or fuse box
  • Main protective bonding
  • All wires and cables
  • Fixtures including light fittings, light switches and plug sockets

If problems are found with any of the above, a qualified electrician will need to carry out the necessary repairs.

Validating electrical compliance

A routine visual inspection by a professional electrician will prevent the majority of electrical problems in your properties. However, to validate your compliance, you’ll need an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR).

Recommended at least every five years, EICRs comprise a comprehensive check of your entire electrical system. It ensures that every component of your system is running safely, effectively and compliantly.

This all-encompassing inspection will provide you with a formal document outlining your compliance, or any work that is required. The check will also reduce the need for unexpected callouts, which could save you money in the long run.

As of July 2020, it’s actually a legal requirement for landlords to have an EICR report carried out every five years for new tenancies. This will also apply to existing tenancies from April 2021. You’ll need to keep a copy of your report for future inspections, complete any required work within 28 days and supply a copy to:

  • New tenants before they occupy the property
  • Existing tenants within 28 days of the test
  • Prospective tenants within 28 days (upon request)
  • Local authorities within 7 days (upon request)

Book your EICR

As fully certified electricians, Volta Compliance can provide professional EICR services to businesses across Leeds and the surrounding areas. Our full-scale assessment will ensure you’re compliant with the Electricity at Work Regulations (1989), as well as recommending the best course of action going forward.

Want to find out more? Give our team a call 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.