Why are there different time bands for EICR’S?

Most companies, organisations and even domestic homeowners will have to have an electrical inspection and test take place on an annual or other time-based basis by law. This is in order to keep you safe as an individual but also if you have family members or work colleagues who could be affected by poor wiring or lack of electrical tests aswell. It is obviously devastating to not put your family’s safety as a top priority, and not doing it in business is negligent to your workforce and can also result in lawsuits through the lack of law abiding tests. Even with the extra costs involved the safety of all parties that are affected by the carrying out of these tests should be absolutely worth it and not even a though process when it comes to deciding how often you will have them or whether or not you will have them. It is of course possible to have them more often and is recommended but these guidelines are put in place to keep everybody safe and make sure that your electrical installations are never going to have any health risks. If you feel like you need to get something checked even though your annual check isn’t due yet, make sure that you take this opportunity and commit to it because you aren’t going to be prompted to do it and if you think there is genuinely a need for it then there is absolutely no disadvantage to committing to this sort of check at an odd time or more frequently than usual.

The question will then obviously emerge as to why these different commitments and time period constraints apply. If safety is key then why would it be that everybody doesn’t have an annual check just to make sure, as anything could go wrong with any appliance at any time? This is a good question to pose as you really need to know the major differences between each electrical outlet and those that use them in order to properly assess why certain areas require more frequent electrical checks. This could be through line of work, the amount of electricity each system or appliance uses, the time frame in which these appliances are active but also how many residents/employers are here at one time. all of these things add up to a big difference in the amount of electricity used or the strain of which a junction box goes through every day, and so knowing the difference and being able to make calculated and correct assumptions based on this is all the more important when trying to ensure that integrity as well as safety is kept at an all time high.

The line of work or just general domestic environment living is something that really is important when thinking about electrical appliances. There are going to be certain jobs and professions that are more demanding on electrical units as well as home environments that are more electronic focused, and this is just the way of the world nowadays. A lot of the time in modern society computers and technology in general is used so regularly that electrical installations have to be checked through sheer decline through extensive usage more than anything else. For instance, a factory that powers several machines and conveyers uses a lot of electricity whichever way you look at it, and this is extremely unlikely to change any time soon. There won’t be days in which usage is less and therefore the sheer amount of consistent usage of appliances is going to wear down and deplete wiring and the junction box in general. This isn’t necessarily the fault of the electrical company who wired the installation or those who work in the building; it is just a result of time and heavy usage. There is nothing wrong with it, and only requires that those that own, live or work in said property are sure to check the installation or hire an electrician to do so as often as they can in order to avoid any problems with this particular location. Knowing the limits of the appliances and installations that you have is a great skill to have so be sure to check regularly for any problems with power loss or depletion as well as exposed wiring and other such things that could cause concern.

The same could be true for a domestic environment. Even if it is a bit more simple and lower usage such as somebody working from home, having several children who all use different electrical appliances or a job or office that requires working from home such as a professional gaming team they will all need to use a considerable amount more electricity for a more prolonged time than most people in their home, and this will put a lot more strain on the system and by extension cause things to deteriorate faster. It may not make as much of a difference as one would think but it certainly does make some sort of difference, and so it is for this reason that you should probably think about a more regular check in your household if you feel like you use much more electricity than most people. This usually requires at least 5 or so people in a house at any one time as well as these people constantly being there and using electrical appliances for most of the day, which is obviously a very rare circumstance especially in a family environment since you would imagine those people would be in school or potentially working aswell if they were a bit older. If you feel that you fall under this category you may want to think about having your electrical inspections and tests around once every 5 years instead, or if you foresee an issue or notice anything strange with the electrical appliances this may be a good time to think about it aswell.

Another thing that you will need to think about is how many different electrical installations these residents or employees use on a daily basis. Somebody who uses a tablet for most of the day and constantly has it charging obviously isn’t going to be an issue in terms of electrical usage, but what you really need to be looking for is those that use several different appliances at any given time, whether it is necessary to or not. For instance, in the workplace each employee in an office is likely to use their own computer, along with two screens and potentially a phone aswell (these are just standard things that you would expect from anybody who is in this sort of environment). However, you may also have to factor in other things that they may use such as photocopiers, scanners, laminators and many more. Essentially somebody who is working in this sort of environment could be using a lot of electricity and therefore the same is likely for every other employee there.

Similarly factories and conveyers are going to use a lot of electricity for the machinery that several people govern and use every single day. Therefore, if you feel that you are using a lot of high maintenance and high usage machines as well as having a lot of employees then this is yet another reason to have a more regular check. Of course the same bands of EICR will still apply but it always worth considering visits more often if you feel that you need them or even could use them just to ensure the absolute safety, trust and security of your employees. They will be far more grateful for you spending the money and time to keep them absolutely safe, and you are likely to have much more productive employees if you treat them in this way all of the time in every aspect of their happiness and safety.

The final thing that I would think about in terms of how often you need to have an electrical check and something that is always considered by those that do these inspections and tests is how old the building and wiring is in your place of work or residence. Amongst the amount of employees and appliances that they use this is probably one of the more important things to consider. It may seem strange to have so much emphasis on the building itself, but all of the factors involved with having an older or more run-down property will make you think twice about how often you need to have inspections.

For instance, one of the bigger things that you may associate with an older building if you work there is the amount of dampness in the walls. Buildings do inevitably deteriorate over time, and sometimes you may get dampness in the walls and such (even if you can’t see it). This is usually more of a problem in run-down or old factories as offices will likely be maintained properly to make it a safer environment for these employees. However, this is the sort of environment which most factory workers are less concerned with and therefore don’t think about as much. Some families who cannot afford higher quality homes may also face this problem and as previously stated it is always something to think about and be very objective about.

The reason this is so much of a problem is because with water leaks or dampness it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to consider the fact that there could be several electrical appliances or even the junction box that is being covered in water, and when it comes to electrics you cannot even begin to try and shun this sort of problem to one side and ignore it if you want to keep everybody safe within your building. If you feel that damping will be a problem I would recommend fixing it at the source and covering up any patchy leaks, as an electrician will always tell you that it is extremely dangerous to have so much water leakage.

The general quality of the wiring when faced with these conditions is also something that can be greatly affected by the quality of a building. For instance, wires that are exposed to the elements such as air and water are always going to be corroded or break down faster. All things degrade over time but you are not helping the situation if you submit your wiring and appliances to this sort of treatment. I would therefore recommend that you have these checks as often as possible so that an electrician can quickly assess and let you know whether or not things need to be re-wired with higher quality wiring or casing. In any situation you should look to repair any things that will affect your wiring in the first place, but having these highly volatile and long-lasting wires is also important in ensuring that these things never become an issue. Only a very experienced electrician will be able to give you accurate and professional advice on whether or not you need to have a house re-wired or certain parts of it, so trust their judgement when they tell you the time band you should stick to for an EICR.

These time bands exist for one reason and one reason only: Safety. If the residents or employees of a property are put at risk through less regular checks it falls on the electrical boards themselves for not recommending a more rigorous check more frequently. They will give you professional and honest advice as to how to fix your problems as well as how often realistically you should get a check done, although obviously the guidelines of the law are the actual set in stone figure. Because of the fact that these time bands exist to ensure your safety you should stick to them and use any information that an electrician can give you to optimise the safety of your property, and so be sure to consult your local electrician to try and establish when you should have an EICR and how often.

If you are living in the London area (more specifically around Essex and Brentwood and surrounding towns and villages) then you are in luck as such a friendly and professional electrical company exists that can assist you in choosing the correct amount of time between visits. We at IC Electrical UK Ltd are dedicated to our customers and will stop at nothing to give them what they want as well as making sure we advise them on the levels of safety that they should be sticking to and therefore the frequency of our visits for inspection or testing. If this is in any way relevant to you and your interests then be sure to call us on 01708 459 831 to book in for an EICR completion, in which we will make sure that your property is kept safe and will remain safe for many years to come. We look forward to hearing from you soon.




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