Periodic InspectionsWhat is a periodic inspection?
A Periodic Inspection is an inspection on the condition of an existing electrical installation, to identify any deficiencies against the national safety standard for electrical installations. A periodic inspection will:
- Reveal if any of your electrical circuits or equipment is overloaded
- Find any potential electrical shock risks and fire hazards in your electrical installation
- Identify any defective DIY electrical work
- Highlight any lack of earthing or bonding
Tests are also carried out on wiring and associated fixed electrical equipment to check that it is safe. A schedule of circuits will also be provided, which is invaluable for a property.Why is a periodic inspection needed?
Every electrical installation deteriorates with use and age. It is important for the person responsible for the maintenance of the installation to be sure that the safety of users is not put at risk, and that the installation continues to be in a safe and serviceable condition.
According to UK Government statistics, each year on average 10 people die and about 750 are seriously injured in accidents involving unsafe electrical installations in the home.When is a periodic inspection needed?
It is recommended that periodic inspection and testing is carried out at least every:
- 10 years for a domestic installation
- 5 years for a commercial installation
- 1 year for swimming pools
Other instances when a periodic inspection should be carried out are:
- When a property is being prepared to be let
- Prior to selling a property or when buying a previously occupied property
The Approved Contractor will check the electrical installation against the requirements of BS7671 - Requirements for Electrical Installations( IEE Wiring Regulations) - as amended, which is the national safety standard for electrical installations.
The period inspection will take into account all relevant circumstances including the following factors:
- Adequacy of earthing and bonding.
- Suitability of the switchgear and control-gear e.g. consumer unit e.g. an old fusebox with a wooden back, cast iron switches, a haphazard mixture of such equipment is likely to need replacing.
- Serviceability of equipment e.g. switches, socket-outlets and light fittings e.g. older round pin sockets, round light switches and braided flex hanging from ceiling roses to light fittings, black switches, sockets mounted in skirting boards may require replacing.
- Type of wiring system and its condition e.g. cables coated in black- rubber, black-rubber was phased out in the 1960s or cables coated in lead or fabric are even older and may need replacing (modern cables use pvc insulation).
- Provision and correct operation of residual current devices.
- Presence of adequate identification and notices.
- Extent of any wear and tear, damage or other deterioration.
- Changes in use of the premises which have led to, or might lead to, deficiencies in the installation.
For further details contact Guernsey Electricity Commercial Contracts Department on 241984.
Guernsey Electricity Ltd would like to acknowledge the valuable assistance given by the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting in the production of this consumer leaflet.