Major new guide provides clarity around electrical installation checks

Electrical Safety First

New guidance has been launched to help provide consistency and transparency on how to conduct thorough electrical safety checks on private rentals and how to report properly on any defects found.

Best Practice Guide 10: Electrical safety standards in the private rented sector, published by charity, Electrical Safety First, is useful for electricians, landlords, letting agents and tenants in understanding what inspection and testing is required and how to produce a detailed report.

Although it is now mandatory for landlords to carry out electrical installation condition reporting (EICR) at least every five years, consistency of reporting varies hugely. This can be confusing for those reading the report and can lead to safety risks being reported incorrectly or ignored.

David Powell, Electrical Installation Safety Engineer at Electrical Safety First, says that a key problem is that an EICR could cover lots of areas, so it is vital to establish and agree with the landlord or person ordering the work what’s to be included and what isn’t included in the electrical safety check. This new guide is the first of its kind to address this problem.

David says, “It is setting a bar about what is the minimum standard to expect, and what should be inspected and tested. It also sets out how to record findings clearly in the extent and limitations section of an EICR and elsewhere in the report.

“Many organisations have collaborated and agreed on this guidance, and it has also had input from several industry bodies, government departments and letting agents.”

For electricians, the guide helps them better understand what is expected of them, how to define the extent and limitations, and how to report properly.

For landlords and tenants, it explains what an EICR is, what to expect from an electrician, questions to ask, and how to prepare for a check.

The new guidance is the latest in a series of ten best practice guides offering free expert advice and information on technical issues involved in electrical installation work.

Produced by Electrical Safety First, in association with leading industry bodies, the 10 downloadable guides support the work of designers, installers, verifiers, and inspectors of domestic electrical installations.

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