Nearly 19,300 cases of accidental domestic fire resulting from electricity were recorded all over the UK in 2019 alone. To cut a long story short life in the modern times is unthinkable without electricity. But at the same time the fact cannot be ignored that electricity is potentially hazardous. The UK authorities are trying to reduce the cases of injuries and fatalities related to accidental fire through Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector a cross England.
The new legislation
From July 01, 2021 an Electrical Installation condition Report or EICR needs to be conducted for all new tenancies while for the existing ones the scheduled date is 01 April 2021. The investigation as well as the report needs to be conducted by a qualified electrician. Moreover, the report has to be acquired before the starting of a fresh tenancy, says an electrician dealing in electrical testing for landlords.
What should the report contain?
The report makes sure that every electrical installation in a property, like electrical sockets, light fixtures and others, are safe to use before a tenant moves in. an EICR report is valid for 5 years. When a report expires you have to get a fresh one.
However, in this ongoing pandemic it is not feasible to conduct a physical test of electric systems. Such activity is likely to put landlords, electricians as well as tenants is massive health risk. In this unprecedented circumstance newer avenues to conduct the test without compromising with health hazard are being explored.
EICR test at home
As it is already mentioned an EICR involves an in-depth inspection inside a property. Properties under long-term tenancy agreements have to be accessed for the inspection without violating the social distancing norm.
In some cases, an EICR is not needed provided the landlord has tried to arrange an inspection. In such cases a landlord has to work with his tenant(s) to chalk out a convenient as well as safe time for the inspection to be conducted. Else evidence has to be placed forward that the inspection is not feasible till a certain time when the risk of contracting the viral disease is lower.
But what is the test is still required?
In such cases landlords have to ensure their own safety and they must also instruct tenants to stick to all the safety measures while the test is being conducted.
A practical way of conducting the EICR test is the self-service check-in method. This allows a tenant to perform the necessary check on his or her own without the involvement of any professional electrician.
Thanks to the latest technology, you can also conduct a live inspection in which property inspectors will carry out the necessary check using video link instead of being physically present at the site.
By following these strategies, it is easy to maintain social distancing and avoid the risk of getting infected with the lethal virus, assures a skilled tradesman who performs electrical checks for landlords. But on the other hand, this means landlords and tenants often have to perform the preliminary tests themselves without any professional or technical support. And the symptoms are not properly read (that is if the tests are not carried out properly) it leads to potential hazard.
When a tenant or a landlord performs the check on their own it is crucial that the individuals have sound knowledge as well as basic awareness about the dangers of electricity. The objective must be conducting a thorough examination in a safe and secured way. One must possess the general ability to follow simple instructions of a qualified expert to get the job done when you are being guided by a professional you are more likely to be safe from potential hazards of electricity and conduct better testing.
To be on the safer side by all means do not hesitate to turn off the power supply before the test. Only switch it on again only after the test is completed. Be thoroughly insulated to be safe from electrical shocks. Wear proper clothing including gloves made of materials that do not conduct electricity and dielectric shoes. If you are working in a team and there is possibility of the team members coming near each other then you should also wear PPE safety gear in the right way to prevent contamination.
By default, you should never assume any electrical component or system is safe, suggests an electrician with years of experience in handling EICR certificate for landlords. Before anything else run the necessary checks every time. First conduct a thorough visual test of an entire property. Then run the earth test for outdoor living, resistance test and lastly a leakage test. All these procedures or tests contribute to cut down the risk of electrical hazard at homes as well as in outdoor spaces.