Let’s talk electrical inspections. If you own a property, you need one. Whether it’s your own home, a business premises or a property you rent out, you still need to make sure your electrical installations are safe and up to code. You also need to comply with laws on electrical maintenance, which means you need to keep up with your periodic inspections – and make any changes recommended quickly. But it can be a bit of a confusing area so, today, we’re going to answer some of the most common questions around electrical inspections in your home, and in your business.

What Is A Periodic Inspection?

Exactly what it says on the tin – it’s a periodic inspection of your property’s electrical works. During a periodic inspection your electrician will check that all of your electrical installations are still in a satisfactory condition and they may test some of them to make sure. Once they are happy, they will provide you with an Electrical Installation Condition Report. This report goes through your entire property, noting any damage, deterioration, defects, dangerous conditions or non-compliances with the current regulations so that you can make changes if needed.

How Often Should I Get My Electrical Installation Inspected?

Like most things in your home, your electrical installations will deteriorate with age. As the property and the installation gets older, problems can start to creep in and materials can start to degrade. As the homeowner, it’s your responsibility to make sure that you, your tenants (if you’re renting out your property) or anyone who visits your home aren’t put at risk by your wiring. These periodic inspections should be done every 5 years for a business premises or a rented home and every 10 years for an owner-occupied home. There are a few exceptions to this rule, like caravans, which need to be inspected every 3 years and swimming pools, which need be inspected every single year to comply with safety regulations.

Can I Do My Own Electrical Inspection And Repairs?

No! For one, only someone legally considered an ‘electrically competent person’ can carry out inspections and repairs. This means people like registered electricians, who are fully trained and regulated. Secondly, it’s just not a very good idea. The average domestic property has a lot of very complex wiring, and unless you know exactly what to look for, the odds are you will miss things on inspections. If you try to fix things yourself, there is also a very good chance you’ll injure yourself. A&E departments currently treat over 4,000 people every year from injuries caused by trying to fix faulty electrical works themselves, so don’t become a statistic, and leave the repairs to the professionals.

As A Landlord, What Are My Responsibilities Around Electrics In My Properties?

As a landlord renting out a property you have a duty of care to your tenants. This means making sure that the electrical installations are safe when they first enter the property and are fully maintained throughout their tenure. To be more specific, the Landlords and Tenants Act 1985 states that the electrical installation in a rented property is required to be:

  • Safe when a tenancy begins
  • Maintained in a safe condition throughout the tenancy
  • Periodically inspected for safety

To Summarise…

To make sure you’re complying with this law, we recommend you get a registered electrician to carry out an Electrical Condition Report on any property you’re going to be renting out. This will certify whether the electrics are safe and tell you if anything needs upgrading before you move them in. At HRHislop we understand the value of electrical inspections. Not only do they keep your home, tenants and family safe, but they make sure your home is as energy efficient as possible. Our highly trained and regulated electricians are always on hand to conduct full electrical inspections of any property, old or new, and can provide you with all the correct paperwork at the end, so you can be sure your electrical work is safe and secure. If you would like to know more, please just get in touch with us today.