An Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR), is a periodic inspection report on a property’s safety relating to its fixed wiring. This report has also been labelled as the ‘Landlord Safety Test’.

The tests are conducted by qualified electricians. It is highly recommended you have an EICR inspection carried out every 10 years for your home. For rental properties, one should be carried out every 5 years or if there is a change of tenancy.

The main purpose of an EICR is to guarantee the safety of the residents and to ensure they are not susceptible to electrical shocks and/or fires.

Why do I need an EICR?

You cannot see electricity and, in many cases, you cannot view the conduits or cables that use electricity. Cables are often hidden inside walls, and consumer units are located in cupboards, where they are not immediately visible.

It is unsurprising that we often forget to check the condition of our electrical installations for damage or signs of wear and tear.

Faulty and old wiring is one of the main causes of electrical fires in the home. You can reduce the risk of a fire by regularly checking your cables, switches and sockets, to see that they are in good condition.

Do I need an EICR? How old are my Electrical Installations?

As stated above, it is recommended you have an EICR every decade for your home. You should first look for clear signs that the electrics in your home are outdated before deciding if you need an EICR.

There are some obvious signs that will tell you if you have old equipment that needs replacing. You should look out for:

All of these features indicate that the electrics in question were created before or during the 1960’s. This means you are in serious need of an EICR.

Whatever the age of your electrical installation is, it is likely to suffer some damage or wear and tear. This means you should get an electrician to check its condition at least every 10 years or if you move into a new property.

What is the aim of an Electrical Installation Condition Report?

The five main aims of an EICR are:

  1. To record the results of the inspection in order to make sure your electrical installations are safe, until the next inspection.
  2. To find any damage and wear and tear that might affect safety, and have it reported.
  3. To find any components of the electrical installation that do not meet the IET Wiring Regulations.
  4. To help identify any appliance or object that could cause electric shocks and high temperatures.
  5. To keep an important record of the installation’s condition at the time of the inspection. This can be used in any future inspection.

The different types of a condition report: can I do this myself?

Generally speaking, there are two types of domestic EICR:

  1. A ‘visual condition report’ – this does not include testing and is only suitable if your installations have been tested recently.Electrical Safety First (ESF) have devised a brilliant visual safety test that may prove to be a life-saver. These include basic tips such as ensuring that you have not overloaded any sockets and that you have RCD protection for your appliances.
  2. A ‘periodic inspection report’ (EICR) – this is probably a better and safer option. As stated before, many underlying electrical faults can be very difficult to spot. The EICR is more comprehensive than a visual condition report. It will test all your installations, including circuitry hidden behind walls, making it more likely to find any hidden dangers.

So in summary, Sparks would recommend that you have an EICR conducted if you have not had one in the last ten years (or five years for rented property).

These can easily be arranged and conducted by a registered electrician. Once they are done, you will feel the benefits of knowing that your home is abiding by the latest UK electrical regulations and your wiring installation is safe.

Further Information on EICR: