fuse board testing is included in an Electrical Installation Condition ReportWhat are Condition Reports?

Electrical Installation Condition Reports (EICR) are sometimes called ‘Periodic Inspections’ or ‘Landlord Certificates’. They may need to be carried out if you are:

• selling a property or moving into a property

• preparing a property to rent

• concerned about your home’s electrical safety and want peace of mind

Condition Reports should be carried out every ten years for an owner-occupied property or five years for a rental property. It will provide a full summary of the condition of the property’s electrics and determine whether any parts of the installation are defective or otherwise do not comply with the BS7671 wiring regulations. This establishes whether the electrics are safe or not.

What is involved?

A thorough inspection will be carried out across the full electrical installation which includes checking:

• the presence and suitability of main protective bonding (earth) to water and gas, and earthing conductor

socket testing is included in an Electrical Installation Condition Report• all sockets, light fittings and other accessories for signs of wear and tear or damage. (A cracked or damaged accessory with exposed live cables is considered an immediate risk and would be remedied there and then)

• for outdated accessories such as: round pin sockets; pendants with braided flex; or sockets mounted directly onto skirting boards with no back box

• an accessory’s suitability for its environment: any equipment used outdoors or in bathrooms must have a suitable Ingress Protection (IP) rating, and non-fire rated down lights either need replacing or covering with fire hoods

• the condition and type of fixed wiring: unlike modern PVC coated cable, some houses still have vulcanised rubber insulated (VRI) cable, phased out in the 1960s, or fabric sheathed cable, which was in use even earlier. These will have deteriorated over time and are likely to be in an unsafe condition

• the condition and safety of the fuse board or consumer unit. Prior to the 1960s boards had a wooden back and these are less safe. Gaps in the consumer unit from missing circuit breaker blanks, leaving live parts exposed, need to be dealt with straight away as it could cause an electric shock

• checking whether there is RCD protection or supplementary bonding in place to provide additional protection

Circuit testing

A full schedule of testing on all circuits will then be conducted to determine whether any faults or unsafe conditions exist in the installation. The tests carried out are:

• continuity of circuit protective conductors (earth) and main protective bonding conductors

• end to end continuity of conductors on ring circuit(s)

• insulation resistance

• external earth fault loop impedance

• prospective fault current

• earth fault loop impedance of circuits

• polarity

• RCD testing

Condition Report Contents

When this is complete you will receive a certificate detailing any damage, deterioration, defects, dangerous conditions and anything not in line with present-day safety standards that might give rise to danger. Condition Reports provide codings indicating the condition of the installation. The classification codes are as follows:

• Code C1 – This code should indicates that danger exists, requiring immediate remedial action. The persons using the installation are at immediate risk.

• Code C2 – This code indicates that, whilst an observed deficiency is not considered to be dangerous at the time of the inspection, it could become a real and immediate danger if a fault or other foreseeable event was to occur in the installation or connected equipment.

• Code C3 – This code indicates that, whilst an observed deficiency is not considered to be a source of immediate or potential danger, improvement would contribute to a significant enhancement of the safety of the electrical installation

You are under no obligation to have any of the issues fixed, though it is recommended that corrective action to rectify any C1 and C2s is done as soon as possible