Electrical certificates for your block
Even if your communal area is fairly compact, if it has lighting there’ll be at least one electrical circuit which will have to be tested for safety every five years. Add in more than one entrance hall, several floors, perhaps a socket or two on each level, a lift, or lights in bin stores and other outside areas and the number of circuits adds up.
Fixed wiring has to be checked at five-year intervals because all electrical installations deteriorate over time. You’ll probably be asked by your insurers to produce an in-date EICR – Electrical installation Condition Report – which is the document that demonstrates your fixed wiring is safe.
The process of achieving an EICR for your block starts off with an electrical safety check; a detailed test of the fixed wiring to ensure that consumer unit and the cabling serving your sockets, lights or lift are safe and fit for purpose. The test can uncover issues including the risk of electric shock or fire, cable damage or overloaded circuits.
If any faults (known as “departures from safety”) are noted they will be given one of three codes:
- C1 – the fault poses an immediate risk to safety and must be rectified straight away.
- C2 – the fault poses a potential risk to safety and should be rectified as soon as possible.
- C3 – the fault has arisen because of a technicality. For example, due to regulatory changes, issues that would be considered safe at the time of installation may now be deemed unsafe. Correcting C3 items is recommended but it is not obligatory.
If any C1 or C2 items are found during the test they will need to be put right before a “satisfactory” certificate can be issued. A lot of electricians will tell you that all C3 items need to be put right as well: this is not correct. There are very few C3 items that prevent a “satisfactory” certificate from being issued.
Once you have a “satisfactory” certificate, you can renew it five years later with just a sample test of the installation, making the whole process much cheaper second (or subsequent) time around. So instead of testing all the circuits, renewal can be done by investigating just 25-30% of them. If your communal area has fewer than four circuits, we can renew by testing a minimum of two. Harland & Voss customers are offered a sample re-test automatically: we keep all our testing records so that online renewal reminders are generated in good time.
If we can help you with your electrical needs, please call us on 020 8451 0345.