Your guide to commercial EICR

Your guide to commercial EICR

When you are responsible for a commercial building like a shop, office, or warehouse, you need to ensure the electrical installation and circuits stay safe.

An electrical installation condition report (also known as an EICR or fixed wire testing) can be the best way to do this.

Old and faulty electrical installations can cause electric shocks as well as fires. An EICR tests the installations in commercial premises, meaning you can get malfunctioning circuits fixed and show your building is compliant with health and safety regulations.

If you want to know more about commercial electrical testing, including whether an EICR is a mandatory requirement for commercial premises, we’ve put together this short guide to help.

Don’t forget PAT testing for commercial premises is important too.

Do commercial landlords have to provide electrical certificates?

Unlike EICR inspections for residential landlords, EICRs for commercial buildings are not a legal requirement.

However, an electrical certificate can show that the electrical installation in a building is safe and compliant, in line with regulations like The Health and Safety at Work Act.

How often does EICR have to be carried out on commercial premises?

It depends on the type of commercial premises that need testing. Some buildings need testing more often than others.

Most commercial buildings such as shops and offices should have electrical testing carried out every five years. Other buildings like factories need testing more often.

Bear in mind that this timescale is not set in stone. The engineer will specify a recommended retest frequency after the inspection has taken place.

For example, if your electrical installation is very old, they may recommend it is tested more often.

Find out more about EICR frequency for commercial properties.

Why is an EICR so important in a commercial building?

Fire can spread quickly in a commercial building, especially in a factory or manufacturing environment. This is because:

  • Factories can get dusty. This dust can float into vents and sockets, causing electrical equipment and installations to overheat
  • Factories often use flammable gases and chemicals in the manufacturing process
  • Paper, wood, and other flammable materials/products increase the risk of fire
  • Electrical equipment and installations are more prone to wear and tear, and are more likely to be on for longer hours

As a business owner, you are legally responsible for your commercial building’s safety. This is in line with legislation including The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989.

If someone is hurt, you could be held liable. If a fire causes damage and you do not have proof that you have done all you can to ensure safety, your insurance company may refuse to pay out.

EICR is the best way of ensuring your building stays safe from the risk of fire, and ensuring compliance with regulations and standards.

What needs to be checked when carrying out commercial electrical testing?

During a commercial (or non-domestic) EICR, the building’s electric installation (or installations) will be tested by a specially trained electrical engineer.

An electric installation consists of:

  • The consumer unit – often known as the fusebox or distribution board
  • Cabling
  • Accessories including sockets, light fittings, and switches

Commercial electrical testing will identify any faulty parts of the electrical installation. You can then organise remedial works to fix the problems before they become major issues.

What does a commercial EICR cost?

The cost of a commercial EICR depends on a variety of factors, including:

  • The size of your building and the number of rooms
  • The number of circuits in your building
  • How easy your electrical circuits are to access
  • The size and complexity of your electrical circuit board

There will also be an additional cost if you want to take advantage of thermal imaging.

If you request a commercial EICR quote from us, we’ll provide you with a bespoke quote that is unique to your business.

We’re the UKs Number 1  trusted voice of experience in the industry, who are regularly consulted to give our expert opinions with industry governing bodies.

Through our national network of fully certified engineers, Hawkesworth provide a range of technical compliance and testing services to ensure you’re not at risk – we’ve got you covered!

From your Electrical Installation and Portable Appliances with EICRPAT and Thermographic surveys to Fire Safety with Fire Risk Assessments, Fire Alarm Testing and Emergency Lighting.

Get in touch and see how we can help you