According to the fire factsheet by Electrical Safety First, it’s estimated that close to 20,000 homes are affected by fire breakouts caused by electricity. The most common household items that cause these accidents include:
- Portable heaters
- Poor electrical lighting
- Most electrical cooking appliances like the air fryer, toasters and microwaves.
For safety purposes, all electrical installations must adhere to the regulated standards. Any faults with the switches, fuse boards and sockets can cause fire or shock causing damage to the occupants.
This guide will look at money-saving tips and why you need to have the document.
What is an EICR?
An EICR is a formal report produced by a certified electrician or an electrical engineer after an exhaustive assessment of electrical systems within an industrial, commercial or domestic property.
It’s also known as The Landlord safety test or The Homebuyers test. The name is derived from the fact that all homes, especially rentals, must adhere to the stipulated rules and be aware of the latest regulations of the electrical safety standards in the private rented sector.
After the assessment, the report provides vital information on the house or flat and ensures that all electrical systems and installations are well-maintained, safe, and correctly installed.
Tips on saving money on EICR
The cost of electrical installation varies from place to place and here are some tips to help you save money on the report.
- Get a certified electrician
It may be cheap to acquire the services from a person who has the skills but isn’t certified by the state at first; however, because they lack the necessary certification to issue you with the report, you may pay more money to get the document.
In addition, the tradesperson can miss a crucial step in the inspection, which may put you and other people at risk of accidents and injuries. This will have you spend more money on medical bills.
2. Comply and get your property inspected
By failing to have your home inspected by a certified electrical engineer or electrician, you risk a fine of up to £30,000 per breach of each regulation by the local government.
Therefore, to be on the safe side, ensure you have the latest EICR.
3. Work on the damages after the inspection
Delay in repairing any problem identified by the inspector can lead to a fine. After the inspection, the landlord has 28 days to work on the issue. Again, a delay in repairing any electrical damage can cause other significant problems.
Your house can be at risk of burning down, injuring the occupants, or damaging electrical cables. As a result, you will end up spending more money.
3. Book your certification online
If you desire to save money and time, this is a great option. The process is faster compared to manually reaching out to a company. You can search for companies offering this service on the internet and consult them from the comfort of your home. In addition, you can choose the specific service you need on the website.
4. Search and compare
You’ll find various companies offering the EICR certificates online. So, to get the best deal, request a quotation from each company, compare and choose the one that favours your budget. Additionally, you’ll get to know about other services offered by the companies.
5. Be on the lookout for discounts.
As a way to encourage most homeowners to have the certificates, some companies give out discounts. Therefore, be sure to update yourself with the companies that provide EICR certification.
6. Have the inspection done with your community
Some companies promote their brand by giving out discounts on bulk inspections. So, to fall in this category, include other homeowners within your neighbourhood and call the inspection officer.
By doing this, you shall have your home checked and also save some money.
What you can expect from an EICR Inspection
An engineer will apply various methods to approve your property the right to be occupied for a complete inspection. They include:
- Visual Inspection
It is usually the first step. The qualified engineer will inspect the electrical cables without testing anything first. In case of issues like breaks and cracks in appliances or wear and tear, they will quickly tell the probable cause, like damaged cables or broken power switches. During electrical installations, these are the most common risks.
- Live testing
During live electrical testing, the systems are checked for any faults as a precautionary measure. This check ensures that the cables in the building are in suitable working conditions for use.
- Dead testing
There are three aspects of dead testing: insulation resistance testing, polarity testing, and continuity testing. These ensure that the insulation materials around the conductors are intact and that no bad conductor is connected.
- RCD testing
RCD testing is done on modern electrical systems, ensuring that the devices are well fitted to prevent fires within the building.
What happens after the inspection?
It can take a few days to have the complete inspection results emailed back to you by the engineer. This is because (s)he will have to upload their findings in a digital format for accurate interpretation.
If your property meets the required standards, the report is marked ‘satisfactory,’ but if it doesn’t, the engineer will label it ‘unsatisfactory.’ Having an unsatisfactory EICR certificate means that your property needs electrical repairs. It’s important to note on a C2 code on your property, the local authority gives you at least 28 days to work on the property. Failure to do that, you risk getting a fine of up to £30,000 and having the building shut down for public use.
An unsatisfactory result will have three findings. They include:
- C1 – This means that the property presents danger and needs immediate attention. The accessor can shut the building as they find possible solutions.
- C2 – It refers to potential danger and urgent remedial action is needed. When working on a C2 classification code on your report, homeowners need to work on it for 28 days or less. Once completed within the stipulated time, the homeowner must update the local authorities and the tenant with a written form.
- C3 – Having this on your report states that your property needs electrical improvement. The C3 is the only code that can appear on a satisfactory EICR certificate.
Benefits of an updated EICR certificate
1.It saves you money
Potential problems are identified early and rectified before creating further damage on your property. If you wait on the day that the electrical system will fail, you’ll end up spending more money on the repairs.
2. Energy efficiency
During the mandatory inspection, the engineer can provide tailored suggestions for your property on how to consume less electricity and keep the property safe. It will also save you money in the long run.
3. The certificate assures safety
According to government statistics, at least four people are injured or killed in fires connected to electrical faults in a day. However, if your home is inspected regularly, you’re assured of a safe house or workspace.
4. The electrical certificate provides you with insurance
Currently, most insurance companies request a regular inspection. The electrical testing is carried out and provided as evidence as part of the policy agreement. Therefore, in case of an accident, the EICR will prove that it was accidental and avoidable. This will help you in getting your insurance claim.
The UK government guidelines state that landlords should renew the electrical certificate report every five years for private rented properties and every ten years for private homeowners. In addition, the certificate should be renewed during a change of tenancy for both rented and privately owned properties.