A Guide to the Periodic Inspection of Electrical Installations

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Fixed Wire Inspection and Testing

Periodic Inspections

Every electrical installation deteriorates with age and use. The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 state that "As may be necessary to prevent danger, all systems shall be maintained so as to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, such danger." It means that all employers have a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of their employees and the public through a systematic, regular programme of maintenance, inspection and testing.

Periodic Inspections are the industry’s method of ensuring the safety of persons against the effects of electrical shock or burns. A periodic inspection will check your installation against the requirements of BS7671:2008, the national safety standard for electrical installations, which contains around 850 Regulations. Ensuring your installation meets the requirements of this British Standard guarantees your installation meets the requirements of all relevant Health and Safety legislation and the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989.

A Periodic Inspection will:

  • reveal if any of your electrical circuits or equipment is overloaded;
  • find any potential risks of electrical shocks and fire hazards;
  • identify any defective electrical work;
  • highlight any lack of earthing or bonding;
  • spot wear and tear before it becomes a hazard.

Maintenance by Global's Inspection and Testing Policy

A suitably qualified engineer will undertake a visual inspection of agreed sections or your complete installation and test selected items. In the visual inspection, the engineer will check the following against the requirements of BS 7671:

  • The adequacy of earthing and bonding;
  • the suitability of the switchgear and control gear;
  • the serviceability of equipment;
  • the type of wiring system and its condition;
  • the provision of residual current devices for socket-outlets that may be used to plug in electrical equipment used outdoors;
  • the presence of adequate identification and notices;
  • the extent of any wear and tear, damage or other deterioration;
  • any changes in use of the premises which have led to or may lead to deficiencies in the installation.

The scope of the inspection and testing is determined by the engineer in line with the recommendations in Guidance Note 3 of BS 7671, Inspection and Testing. The frequency of formal inspection and testing will be carried out at intervals dependant on the type of installation.

On completion of testing, a Periodic Inspection Report (PIR) is submitted to the User, recording the full details of inspection and testing, including a schedule of results on circuits tested and any comments about damage, deterioration, defects or dangerous conditions.

If your installation is deemed ‘satisfactory’, no further work will be required. If ‘unsatisfactory’, there will be a number of recommendations for action to take to ensure legal compliance. If requested, Maintenance by Global can offer a fixed-price quotation for any necessary remedial works.

Maintenance by Global can also offer guidance on routine checks that customers can carry out themselves as recommended by BS 7671.

It is the responsibility of the customer to keep safe all certificates issued for installations, along with the accompanying schedules of inspections and test results (where applicable). Insurers, mortgage lenders and Licensing Authorities may ask to see these as evidence of regular maintenance.

Regulations

Maintenance by Global's maintenance policy for the periodic testing and inspection of electrical installations fulfils the requirements of the IEE Wiring Regulations 17th Edition (BS7671) and the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989.

Additional Services from Maintenance by Global

As well as inspecting, testing and repairing electrical installations for commercial, industrial and residential buildings, Maintenance by Global also undertakes the whole range of minor works, including upgrades and extensions.

Maintenance by Global can issue the full range of electrical certificates, including:

Electrical Installation - issued for new installations or for alteration to an existing installation.

Periodic Inspection Report - Certificate issued after periodic inspection and testing, with a schedule of tests and listing any deviations from BS 7671.

Minor Electrical Installation Works - issued for any alterations not involving the installation of a new circuit.