From your television and computer to your fridge and oven, all the necessities you rely on daily require a constant source of electrical power. While we have all become accustomed to living in an electricity-fuelled world, we often overlook how safe our installations and appliances are.
Electrical inspection and testing have been designed to eliminate the worry of electricity-based hazards. Yet, it is a service that many property owners are unfamiliar with.
The importance of electrical inspection and testing
Our electricians in Milton Keynes know just how essential an electrical inspection and testing is to the safety of your property and residence, as well as the people around you. In our guide, we will detail what is involved in the process and how regular testing and inspections can benefit your property.
- What is testing and inspection in electrical installations?
- What is the purpose of testing an electrical installation?
- Benefits of an electrical inspection
It is inevitable for electrical installations to show signs of wear and tear; however, this most definitely doesn’t mean that indications of deterioration should be neglected. In many cases, the biggest electrical dangers are from within appliances, dangers that can only be highlighted with the correct training and testing equipment – this is where professional inspections come in.
Electrical testing and inspections are designed to determine whether an installation remains fit (and safe) for purpose. Known as an EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report), the process is used to identify damage, defects and deterioration before they have the opportunity to grow and pose a threat.
Regular testing and inspection are vital whether you own a commercial or residential property. As a homeowner, arranging an EICR every ten years is recommended to ensure that your electricals remain safe. For landlords and commercial property owners, on the other hand, testing is mandatory every five years to ensure that you stay compliant with electrical regulations.
It is important to note that an EICR can only be carried out by a fully registered and trained professional. Our team of reputable electricians in Milton Keynes have over 20 years of experience carrying out EICRs and, once complete, can set up automatic reminders to ensure that your next inspection is booked in advance.
As mentioned above, testing an electrical installation allows you to determine whether it is safe for continued use or it needs to be repaired/replaced. It involves a visual inspection to check for breaks, cracks or signs of overheating, dead testing of specific circuits and lastly, an assessment of the quality of your earthing and bonding. The main aim of this is to:
- Ensure electrical installations are safe enough to be used until the next inspection
- Highlight any installations that do not meet the latest regulations
- Identify installations that may overheat (and potentially lead to an electrical fire) or cause an electric shock
- Provide a record of the condition of installations, which is particularly important for landlords to meet legal safety requirements
Once all testing is complete, you will be provided with your EICR certificate, which details the results, allowing you to determine which (if any) electrical installations pose a potential threat. Electricals will be categorised as satisfactory or unsatisfactory; if an item is satisfactory, it is safe to continue using, but if it is unsatisfactory, remedial work must be done to correct any problems and bring it up to standards.
As a commercial property owner or landlord, regular PAT testing is also recommended. This test is used to determine the safety of portable appliances as opposed to electrical installations and is advised every 6 to 12 months depending on how often the appliance is used.
Having provided electrical inspections in Milton Keynes for many years, we have worked with hundreds of clients who know that electrical inspections are key for safety but are less aware of the host of other benefits. With this in mind, we are going to run through the following advantages in-depth:
- Keep your property and those inside safe
- Remain compliant with electrical standards
- Avoid damage to irreplaceable items
- Lower insurance premiums
- Save money
Keep your property and those inside safe
Of course, everyone wants to feel safe in their property, whether it be at home or at work, and having peace of mind that electricals are free from dangers can heavily contribute towards this. If your electrics are faulty, not only can they cause issues with your property’s electrical wiring, but they can also cause your appliances to malfunction – which is how electrical fires start. In order to keep you and your family or team safe on your property and minimise the risks of electrical fires, it’s essential to have electrical testing and inspections. The most common warning signs of faulty electrics are the following:
- Buzzing noise – Anything from loose outlets to frayed wiring can cause electricals to give off a buzzing sound, which is a key sign that you need to contact an electrician. Electricity should always run smoothly and quietly, so if you notice any changes, its time to take action.
- Electrical shocks – This indicates that there is a problem with either the appliance you are plugging in or the mains outlet. To check which of the two is faulty, try putting something different into the outlet. If you still feel a shock, then it is the outlet, and if not, it is the appliance.
- Burning smell – One of the initial signs of an electric fire is a smell similar to burning plastic, which means that this is always an issue that should be seen as soon as possible.
- Flickering or dimming lights – Issues with the reliability of lights can be caused by faulty wiring on an overloaded circuit. However, if the light is flickering or dimming in only one room, it is likely to be the light itself.
- Frayed, damaged or exposed wiring – With age, wiring covers can begin to deteriorate, which means that it’s not uncommon for you to experience fraying. However, when wires become exposed, it is vital to resolve the issue as it becomes a fire and shock hazard.
For more tips on how to spot a major electrical problem, take a look at Family Handyman.
Remain compliant with electrical standards
When enlisting the expertise of an electrician, they are obliged to follow a number of electrical standards to guarantee the safety and reliability of their work. However, while as a homeowner, there is less pressure, it remains vital for electricals to stay in full working order, free from potential hazards, to comply with Part P of the Building Regulations. This is an approved document which is provided by the Secretary of State, including practical guidance on how to follow the 2013 Building Regulations in England. For example, if you wish to install a new circuit or replace a consumer unit, you are advised to give building notice, accompanied by paperwork explaining your plan, should you have the relevant documents. The document has been created to protect anyone who is operating, maintaining or altering electrical installations from fire hazards and severe injury. You can find the full HM Government document by clicking the following link.
If you are a landlord, then electrical testing becomes even more critical as you must ensure that all installations are not only safe when tenants move in but throughout the tenancy. Wiring, fuse boxes and all other electricals must remain in full working order and free from any forms of danger. Every five years, you must schedule an electrical installation condition report, with a qualified commercial electrician. Landlords who are in need of periodic inspections in Milton Keynes are free to contact our commercial electricians in Milton Keynes, who can schedule a time for an electrical assessment whenever best fits with their schedule.
Avoid damage to irreplaceable items
All items around the house can be covered by insurance, whether this may be electronics or vehicles; however, there are a number of possessions which are simply irreplaceable. They are worth so much more than just monetary value, which means that should they be damaged or lost, there is no real way to rectify the consequences. Belongings such as family heirlooms or memories of past generations cannot be rebought, which means that it is essential that they remain protected while stored in your home.
According to statistics by Morgan Clark, the two most common causes of house fires are cooking and electrical appliances, which means that testing remains imperative in avoiding damage to your property. While the most important thing during a fire is to ensure that everyone is out of the house safely, there is often no time to grab irreplaceable items. In ensuring that your electricals are regularly tested for potential issues, you can minimise the risk of fire, therefore, adding just that extra layer of protection on your valuables.
Lower insurance premiums
Although insurance is imperative in ensuring that you are covered at all times, most premiums do come alongside a substantial price tag. Inevitably, the more coverage that you require, the higher your policy will be, which means that it is always handy to know tricks that will help you to save a few pounds. While the most significant benefit of electrical inspections is their ability to boost safety, they are also a great way to reduce home insurance premiums. In fact, many home insurance providers are now insisting that you schedule regular electrical testing; otherwise, you will no longer be covered. It means that unless you have proof that your installations have been deemed safe, they will not provide you with a payout should an issue occur. For more information on ways that you can reduce the cost of your home insurance, take a look at confused.com.
Faulty electrics can be the sole issue of high electricity bills. If your electricity is damaged or defective, this, therefore, means that your cabling is not working to its full capacity. This forces electrical outlets to work harder to provide an adequate amount of electricity needed to power your appliances. Failing to spot issues with electricity sources could result in a big shock when your bills are sent through the post or via email.
Along with causing bills to skyrocket, defective wiring can also cause your appliance to malfunction, meaning that you will be forced to replace your essential electricals more regularly than you should be. What should last you for years problem-free may only last you a handful of months, merely down to a faulty electrical source.
Schedule an electrical inspection today!
As specialist electrical contractors in Milton Keynes, we cannot stress the importance of keeping your installations and appliances in safe working order enough. All of these points are common within households and commercial sites and should be taken into consideration by every property owner. If you cannot remember the last time that you gave your electricals a once over, then it is highly recommended to dig out the reports and check their dates. Everyone is guilty of letting years pass by without giving small maintenance tasks a second thought; however, it can be the difference between a hazard-free home and those filled with electrical risks. If you have any additional questions in regards to electrical inspections or the safety of your property, then please do not hesitate to contact the Heath Electrical Services team; they are always more than happy to run through any topics that you may be unsure of.