Periodic Electrical Testing, Inspection, Reporting & Certification

Electricity is part of our lives. We use it from the moment we wake up and throughout the day. As a result, we sometimes forget how powerful and dangerous it can be!

All electrical installations deteriorate with age and use. They should therefore be inspected and tested at regular intervals to check whether they are in a satisfactory condition for continued use. Such safety checks are commonly called ‘periodic inspection and testing’.

From June 2020, private landlords in England are required to have a periodic inspection carried out on the installations in their rental properties every five years. This has been a legal requirement in Scotland since 2015. Electrical Safety First recommends that these checks are carried out wherever you live in the UK, to ensure the safety of your property and your tenants.

​Once a periodic inspection has been completed, you will be issued with an Electrical Condition Report (EICR).
​A periodic inspection will:

  • Reveal if any of your electrical circuits or equipment are overloaded.
  • Find any potential electric shock risks and fire hazards.
  • Identify any defective electrical work.
  • Highlight any lack of earthing or bonding.

Tests are also carried out on wiring and fixed electrical equipment to ensure safety. A schedule of circuits is also provided, which is invaluable for a property.

​How often is a periodic inspection required?

Your electrics should be inspected and tested every:

  • 10 years for an owner-occupied home.
  • 5 years for a rented home.
  • 3 years for a caravan
  • 1 year for a swimming pool.
  • When a property is being prepared for letting.
  • Before selling a property or buying a previously occupied property.

​The inspection takes into account all the relevant circumstances and checks on:

  • The adequacy of earthing and bonding.
  • The suitability of the switchgear and control gear. For example, an old fusebox with a wooden back, cast-iron switches, or a mixture of both will need replacing.
  • The serviceability of switches, sockets and lighting fittings. Items that may need replacing include: older round-pin sockets, round light switches, cables with fabric coating hanging from ceiling roses to light fittings, black switches and sockets mounted in skirting boards.
  • The type of wiring system and its condition. For example, cables coated in black rubber were phased out in the 1960s. Likewise cables coated in lead or fabric are even older and may well need replacing (modern cables use longer-lasting pvc insulation).

What else is tested?

  • ​Sockets that may be used to supply portable electrical equipment for use outdoors, making sure they are protected by a suitable residual current device (RCD).
  • The presence of adequate identification and notices.
  • The extent of any wear and tear, damage or other deterioration.
  • Any changes in the use of the premises that have led to, or may lead to, unsafe conditions

​We will then issue an Electrical Installation Condition Report detailing any observed damage, deterioration, defects, dangerous conditions and any non-compliance with the present-day safety standard that might give rise to danger.

If anything dangerous or potentially dangerous is found, each observation is coded with a code C1 ,C2, C3 or FI. Providing all tests have been satisfied Most newer installations will normally be ‘Satisfactory’ and no further remedial work will be required. However, if its found that some observations are to be coded C1 or C2 the overall condition of the electrical installation will be declared ‘unsatisfactory’. Remedial action is then required, without delay! To Receive a certificate of safety compliance.

​For further advice for Landlords & Tenants visit