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Electrician provided statistics explaining that over 19,000 accidental domestic fires in the UK were the result of electrical issues, with a total of 26 fatalities occurring from electrical fires at home.

The UK government has issued that from 1st July 2020 or from 1st April 2021 for existing tenancies, an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) must be conducted by a qualified professional and acquired before the commencement of any new tenancy.

The report ensures that all electrical installations in the property, such as light fixtures and electrical sockets, are safe before the tenant moves in. 

Though, it is currently a challenge for professionals to conduct an electrical test during a global pandemic. As a result of social distancing rules and restrictions.For landlords and electricians there are multiple ways in which you have to make sure you are keeping safe and healthy.

Tips on how to do the safest socially distanced work for professionals, conducting safe EICR tests will require different techniques depending on the person involved. 

Property Contractors 247 explain the different ways in which you can conduct these tests  safely at home.

What is an EICR? 

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An electrical installation condition report (EICR) is used to identify defects, deterioration, damages and/or conditions which may indicate potential danger, as well as providing recommendations for improvement within a given property. The Landlord’s Electrical Safety Certificate is also accepted as a valid EICR. 

What the regulations say:

Private landlords must ensure every electrical installation in their residential premises is inspected and tested at intervals of no more than 5 years by a qualified and competent person.

The regulations apply in England to all new specified tenancies from 1 July 2020 and all existing specified tenancies from 1 April 2021. 'New specified tenancies' is any tenancy created on or after 1 June 2020.

Following the inspection and testing, a private landlord must:

  • obtain a report from the person conducting that inspection and test, which gives the results of the inspection and test and the date of the next inspection and test
  • supply a copy of that report to each existing tenant of the residential premises within 28 days of the inspection and test
  • supply a copy of that report to the local housing authority within 7 days of receiving a request in writing for it from that authority
  • retain a copy of that report until the next inspection and test is due and supply a copy to the person carrying out the next inspection and test
  • supply a copy of the most recent report to any new tenant of the specified tenancy to which the report relates before that tenant occupies those premises; and any prospective tenant within 28 days of receiving a request in writing for it from that prospective tenant

Action needed in the event of an Unsatisfactory Report:

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Where an Electrical Installation Safety Report identifies urgent remedial work or requires 'further investigation', the private landlord must ensure that the required work is carried out by a qualified and competent person within 28 days (or the period specified in the report if it is less than 28 days), starting with the date of the inspection and testing.

The landlord must then:

  • obtain written confirmation from a qualified person that further investigative or remedial work has been carried out and that the electrical safety standards are met or the further investigative or remedial work is required
  • supply that written confirmation, together with a copy of the report which required the further investigative or remedial work to each existing tenant of the residential premises within 28 days of completion of the further investigative or remedial work, and also to the local housing authority within 28 days of completion of the further investigative or remedial work.

How to conduct the test at home

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Although primarily requiring an expert to physically conduct the test in the property, in some instances which usually involve vulnerable tenants at higher risk of contracting the virus, the EICR will not be required.

This will only be accepted if there is written evidence that an inspection has been discussed and attempted.

As a result of the test being essential to the safety of future tenants, the report will usually be required to take place and will take into account any coronavirus safety precautions.

Landlords must also inform tenants to obey any rules or government guidelines when conducting checks & inspections. 

An alternative method is via live inspections which are completed by property inspectors reviewing and conducting evaluations by video link.

For landlords or existing tenants, there is an element of pressure when conducting home checkups.

“You will need to bear this in mind if there are already tenants in the property as failure to turn any electrical components off whilst conducting the test could prove fatal, so always double-check.”

For electricians as well as landlords and tenants, when conducting an electrical test, despite any prior initial assessments, never assume that an electrical component you are handling in a residence is safe.

Always run the necessary checks. To assess the safety of the property you should follow recommended steps of a visual test. 

An approved voltage indicator (AVI) is a key piece of equipment used for checking electrical currents within a property.

Taking these guidelines into consideration could help you prevent any unnecessary electrical injuries or health-related issues regarding coronavirus.

Helping perform safe and correct reviews and evaluations to properties with the intention of reducing the number of electrical fires happening at home. Get in touch with us!

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