When should the 1st EICR be carried out after New Build?

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  • Nancy Esslemont

    We are asked this question on a regular basis and thought it helpful to post on the AESM members forum.

    Q– When should the 1st EICR be carried out after New Build if a current policy is 10 Years or change of Tenant but the NICEIC says 5 Years?

    There is no definitive answer to this question which indicates why it is posed so often, but rather a range of reference documents which, together with individual circumstances, inform a decision.

    Regarding a New Build property, the IET Guidance Note 3 states –
    ‘ When carrying out the design of an installation and particularly when specifying the equipment, the designer should take into account the quality of the maintenance to be reasonably expected, the frequency of routine checks and the period between subsequent inspections.
    Information on the requirements for routine checks and inspections should be provided in accordance with Section 6 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and as required by the CDM Regulations 2015. Duty holders and users of premises should seek this information as the basis on which to make their own assessments.
    The Health and Safety Executive advise within their publication HSR25, that practical experience of an installations use may indicate the need for an adjustment to the frequency of checks and inspections. This is a matter of judgement for the duty holder.’

    Under the EAWR 1989 it is the duty holder who is responsible for the safety of an electrical installation at work. The HSWA 1974 refers to a duty holder as one ‘who has, to any extent, control of premises’ who may be an identified person with that specific responsibility within an organisation i.e. a landlord, manager or supervisor.

    BS7671 requires the designer of an electrical installation to recommend the interval to the first inspection, and insert that date on the Electrical Installation Certificate. After the first inspection, and further periodic inspections and tests, the inspector in conjunction with the client, taking into account the test results and observations found, will then advise on the period until the next inspection.
    Therefore, the designer gives the initial steer on the length of time before the first inspection and test, and the duty holder would either agree or modify this accordingly (as long as the subsequent decision can be verified).

    There is a table within the IET Guidance Note 3 (Table 3.2) that gives guidance for ‘typical’ situations-

    NB (1) Its important to note that these time periods are considered to be the maximum time periods

    NB (2) the difference between rented and domestic accommodation ‘general’.
    The guidance used to be for 10 years max for the first initial inspection, but this changed some years ago.

    Paul Garland

    We are moving to 5 years regardless of when the original install was done unless the report or certificate suggest a shorter time frame. As much as anything to simplify it for ourselves when programming. Often with Section 106 the “designer” has no idea who will be occupying the property and the general assumption can be that these will be homeowners i.e. 10 years.

    Paul Simpson

    We now test every 5 years although previously we had started with 10 years for new build as per the guidance at the time.

    Peter Sandry

    We are striving for a 5 year cycle across the piece but would add that we currently undertake a limited number of full EICRs on new build properties when keys are handed over. Unfortunately many come back as unsatisfactory with one site submitting a number of Code 1 defects. With this in mind I wouldn’t be happy with the recommendations for 10 year from build date.

    Jamie Burton

    All installations are currently on a maximum of 5 years regardless of age .

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