Electrical Installation Condition Reports
What is an EICR ?
BS 7671 recommends that every electrical installation is subjected to periodic inspection and testing (Regulation 135.1 refers).
Inspection and testing should be carried out at appropriate intervals to determine what, if anything, needs to be done to ensure that the installation’s safety and integrity are still of a satisfactory and serviceable condition. The results of the inspection and testing need to be detailed clearly in a report.
Any observed damage, deterioration, defects, dangerous conditions, and non-compliances with the requirements of the current edition of BS 7671 that may give rise to danger should be recorded (Regulation 653.2) and appropriately classified for remedial action.
It should be taken into account that, as stated in the introduction to BS 7671, existing installations which have been installed in accordance with earlier editions of BS 7671 may not comply with the current edition in every respect. This does not necessarily mean that they are unsafe for continued use or require upgrading.
As its title indicates, this is a report and not a certificate. It provides an assessment of the current in-service condition of an electrical installation against the requirements of the edition of BS 7671 current at the time of the inspection, irrespective of the age of the installation.
The report is for the benefit of the person ordering the work and of persons subsequently involved in additional or remedial work, or further inspections. The report may be required for one or more of a variety of reasons, each of which may impose particular requirements or limitations on the inspection and testing. The report is required to include details of the extent of the installation that has been inspected and tested and of any limitations applied to the inspection and testing (Regulation 653.2) including the reasons for any such limitations and the name of the person with whom those limitations were agreed.
It should be noted that the greater the limitations applied to the report, the lesser is the scope of the inspection and testing carried out, and hence the value of the report is correspondingly diminished. The report is also required to include a record of the inspection and the results of any testing which has been carried out.
The report provides a formal declaration that, within the agreed and stated limitations, the details recorded, including the observations and recommendations, and the completed schedules of inspection and test results, give an accurate assessment of the condition of the electrical installation at the time it was inspected.
The main purpose of periodic inspection and testing is to detect so far as is reasonably practicable, and to report on, any factors impairing or likely to impair the safety of an electrical installation. The aspects to be covered include all of the following:
• Safety of persons against the effects of electric shock and burns
• Protection against damage to property by fire and heat arising from an installation defect
• Confirmation that the installation is not damaged or deteriorated so as to impair safety
• Identification of non-compliances with the current edition of BS 7671, or installation defects, which may give rise to danger.
Where an installation is deemed to be in a satisfactory condition for continued service, this outcome does not extend beyond the recommended date for reinspection stated in the report.
Each observation relating to a concern about the safety of the installation should be attributed an appropriate Classification Code selected from the standard codes C1, C2, C3 and FI. Each code has a particular meaning: Where the inspection and testing procedures identify an item which is not dangerous or potentially dangerous, but for which improvement is recommended, it should be identified in the inspection or test results schedule of the report by attributing to it a Classification Code C3 in the ‘outcome’ column of the inspection schedule or, where provided, the ‘remarks’ column of the test schedule.
Where during inspection and testing an immediate danger is observed that puts the safety of those using the installation at risk. Classification Code C1 (danger present) must be given. Where a Classification Code C1 is considered appropriate, the client is to be advised immediately, and also in writing, that immediate remedial action is required (or has been taken) to remove the danger.
As previously indicated, this action is necessary to satisfy the duties imposed on the inspector and other duty holders by the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989.
Wherever an item in the inspection or test results schedule has been attributed a Classification Code C1, C2, C3 and FI, there should be a corresponding observation in the ‘observations’ section of the report. Note: The use of photographic evidence in relation to the observations noted would be advantageous.
Code C1 ‘Danger present’. Risk of injury. Immediate remedial action required
Code C2 ‘Potentially dangerous’. Urgent remedial action required Code
Code C3 ‘Improvement recommended’ Code FI ‘Further investigation required’
Only one of the standard Classification Codes should be attributed to each observation. If more than one Classification Code could be attributed to an observation, only the most serious one identified should be used (Code C1 being the most serious).