17th January 2020

What Are the Consequences of Not Having an EICR?

Learn about the importance of an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) and the price you could pay if you don’t get an experienced qualified electrician in to carry out the test.

Whether it’s your business, rented property or home, all electrical installations should always be covered by a valid EICR.

However, as it’s not a legal requirement to have one in place, is calling in an electrician in to do the test worth the fuss?

In this guide, you’ll find everything you need to know about an EICR, including what it is, how much it costs and what could happen if you choose to ignore it.

What is EICR testing?

An Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) is a thorough assessment of the electrical systems and installation at your property. During the test, the electrician will:

  • make sure all devices are protected against fire and electric shock;
  • ensure the earthing and bonding are adequate;
  • identify whether there are any damaged electrical fittings and accessories;
  • look for any exposed live wires that could cause injuries or fires;
  • search for any damage to or wear that could compromise the safety of visitors/tenants.

The report grades the competency of your electrics into three categories:

C1 – this is given when the electrics are deemed dangerous and will need immediate work.

C2 – this is given if electrical dangers exist and immediate work is recommended.

C3 – this is given when electrics don’t pose any dangers, but the electrician believes some improvements could be made.

What are the consequences of not having an EICR?

Although it’s not a legal requirement to have an up-to-date EICR, business owners and landlords are legally responsible for the welfare of their employees and tenants.

This means, if one of these people hurts themselves due to dangerous electrics and you can’t provide evidence stating you’ve taken the necessary steps to create a safe environment, you could be prosecuted. For homeowners, an EICR provides peace of mind before buying a new property. You don’t want to purchase or sell a house that isn’t safe to live in. Having this knowledge to hand will give you or the buyer bargaining power to drive the buying price down.

Just imagine buying your dream home, only to find an electrical house of horrors that costs you thousands to fix.

There are further consequences for homeowners, landlords and business owners when it comes to taking out and claiming insurance too.

You’ll find that most credible insurance companies require an Electrical Condition Report on a property before providing cover. In the event of the EICR expiring during the term of your insurance, it only takes one mishap with a tenant or employee to stop an insurer from covering court expenses.

Similarly, your house insurance might not cover costs if the dodgy electrics in your new home cause a fire.

The reality is, every day you don’t have a valid EICR certificate, you’re walking a tight rope.

How long is an EICR valid for?

The IET Wiring Regulations BS7671 recommends that an EICR should be checked as follows:

  • Landlords – every five years or when there’s a change of tenancy.
  • Business owners– every five years.
  • Homeowners– every ten years, unless you have a swimming pool – therefore, you should get it checked every year.

If you don’t think your electrics are up to scratch, then you should get one done before the timeframe is up.

How much does an EICR cost?

An EICR should only be carried out by a qualified registered electrician with the experience to know what they’re doing.

However, it’s important to check whether they have the experience and the credentials before agreeing to the work. Like most services or products, if you make the wrong choice, the quality of service won’t be as good.

On average, you’ll usually be charged around £200 plus VAT for a contractor of this ability to conduct an EICR on up to six circuits (£33.33 each) and £20 plus VAT for every additional one.

The good news is that at Hills Electrical, our EICR services start as little as £10.00 per circuit to commercial premises, offices, retail units and factories in Dudley, Birmingham, the West Midlands and the rest of the UK. As well as our competitive price, you’re also guaranteed quality too, with our team of contractors both NICEIC approved and highly experienced.

So, if you want peace of mind at a better price and a guaranteed quality service, then get in touch with us today. Trust us, ignoring an EICR can cost you a lot of money in the long-run, so it pays to cover yourself sooner rather than later.

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