Test and Inspection

Recommended initial frequencies of inspection of electrical installations.

No electrical system can be considered ‘Safe’ for use until it has been Tested & Inspected. Furthermore, all electrical systems deteriorate with age and use. Established systems should always be tested on a scheduled basis to ensure compliance with BS 7671.

Due to various changes within the building industry, insurance companies and the buy-to-let market, we have found an increase in the requirement for periodic testing and inspecting. For example, a rental domestic property should be tested every 5 years or at a change of tenancy, this ensures correct operation of the electrical system between tenants, making sure that no changes have been made without the landlord’s knowledge. This falls under duty of care from a landlord to a tenant.

[table class=”table-striped” caption=”General Installation” colalign=”left|center|center”]
Type of Installation,Routine Check,Max Period Between Inspections and Testing
Domestic accommodation – general,-,Change of occupancy / 10 years
Domestic accommodation – rented houses and flats,1 Year,Change of occupancy / 5 years
Residential accommodation (Houses of Multiple Occupation) – halls of residence; nurses accommodation; etc,1 Year,Change of occupancy / 5 years
Commercial,1 Year,Change of occupancy / 5 years
Educational establishments,6 months,5 years
Industrial,1 year,3 years
Offices,1 year,5 years
Shops,1 year,5 years
Laboratories,1 year,5 years
[/table]

[table class=”table-striped” caption=”Hospitals and Medical Clinics” colalign=”left|center|center”]
Type of Installation,Routine Check,Max Period Between Inspections and Testing
Hospitals and medical clinics – general areas,1 year,5 years
Hospitals and medical clinics – medical locations,6 months,1 year
[/table]

[table class=”table-striped” caption=”Buildings Open To The Public” colalign=”left|center|center”]
Type of Installation,Routine Check,Max Period Between Inspections and Testing
Cinemas,1 year,1-3 years
Church Installations,1 year,5 years
Leisure Complexes (excluding swimming pools),1 year,3 years
Places of public entertainment,1 year,3 years
Restaurants and Hotels,1 year,5 years
Theatres,1 year,3 years
Public houses,1 year,5 years
Village halls / community centres,1 year,5 years
[/table]

[table class=”table-striped” caption=”Special and specific installations (for medical locations see above)” colalign=”left|center|center”]
Type of Installation,Routine Check,Max Period Between Inspections and Testing
Agricultural and horticultural,1 year,3 years
Caravans,1 year,3 years
Caravan parks,6 months,1 year
Highway power supplies,As convenient,6 -8 years
Marinas,4 months,1 year
Fish farms,4 months,1 year
Swimming pools,4 months,1 year
Emergency lighting,Daily/monthly,3 years
Fire alarms,Daily/weekly,1 year
Laundrettes,Monthly,1 year
Petrol filling stations,1 year,1 year
Construction site installations,3 months,3 months
[/table]

Please note: this table should only be used as a guide. Your specific installation needs to be considered, along with the Electricity at Work Regulations, as it may require a shorter testing interval depending on the environment, usage and likely deterioration. You should always seek advice from a qualified electrician before establishing a suitable testing interval for your installation.

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