An EICR inspection (also known as fixed wire testing) is essential for keeping your electrical installations safe, but how often should you have an EICR done?
Is an EICR required every year? Ever three years? Every five years? Every ten years? Determining the exact EICR frequency can be challenging.
If you’re not sure how long an EICR certificate is valid for or the recommended EICR frequency, our handy guide will show you how often you should get EICR testing carried out.
So, if you’re asking the question: ‘when should I get an EICR done?’ or ‘how long does an EICR certificate last?’, read on to find out the answers…
Why do some properties need EICRs so often?
How long an EICR certificate is valid for ultimately depends on how high-risk the environment is. EICR frequency increases when there is more risk to be found.
High-risk factors that impact on EICR frequency include:
- The use of flammable gases and chemicals
- Wet and dusty environments
- Densely populated buildings – for example, the front of house in a cinema needs EICR testing every year as if a fire breaks out, people may find it hard to get out of the building
How often EICR inspections (fixed wire testing) should be carried out
Find out more about EICR frequency in our short video guide
If you’re wondering about EICR certificate validity in different types of buildings, here is how often EICR inspections should be carried out.
An EICR every year
- Petrol stations
- Medical locations in hospitals (e.g. operating theatres)
- Fish farms
- Front of house in a cinema (i.e. the cinema screens and areas open to the public)
- Swimming pools
You only need to get the higher-risk areas tested every year.
For example, if you have a leisure centre that needs an EICR, you only need to get your sauna and swimming pool checked every year.
An engineer only needs to inspect the rest of the building every three years.
An EICR every three years
- Spa hotels
- Leisure centres (excluding swimming pools)
- Caravan parks and caravans/static homes
- Cinema (back of house)
- Factories and industrial buildings
An EICR every five years
- Schools, colleges and universities
- Community centres
- Hospitals (general areas)
- Restaurants and cafes
An EICR every five years (or change of tenancy)
- Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs)
- Rental properties
If you’re reading this article, you may be asking the question: ‘How often should landlords have an EICR?’
If you have an HMO or are the landlord of a rental property in England or Scotland, you must get an EICR every five years by law. This rule also will apply to Wales from December 2022.
While it’s not a legal requirement, it’s recommended that you get an EICR when you buy a rental property, and in between tenancies. This will help you see the condition of the property before you invest, as well as make sure nothing has been damaged during the previous tenancy.
An EICR every ten years
- Domestic houses
- Domestic flats
These timescales aren’t set in stone
Ultimately the engineer carrying out the testing for you will specify the recommended retest period. This will depend on the environment and the overall condition of the electrical installation.
For example, if you have an office with a very old electrical installation, your engineer may advise you have another test carried out in three years rather than five.
We hope this article has helped you understand when you should get an EICR done, but if you have any additional questions, send us an email or give us a call!