What are Periodic Inspections?
Testing and inspection of electrical installations is necessary as they deteriorate with age.
Several factors can influence this, including: damage, wear & tear, corrosion, excessive loading and environmental influences.
This is particularly important for rented property and the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 specifically states that the landlord is to ensure the electrical installation is safe when a tenancy begins and that it is maintained in a safe condition throughout the tenancy. Many licensing authorities, public bodies, insurance companies and mortgage lenders insist on this. It is also a requirement of the Electricity at Work Regulations that electrical systems are maintained to prevent “danger” as far as reasonably practical.
Such inspections are known as ‘Periodics’.
With the advent of the Home Information (or Homeseller’s) Pack in 2007, the Periodic Inspections market is set to grow dramatically.
Please be aware of what you require and what you are going to get for your money when you ask for an inspection, unless you have recently had a periodic inspection carried out and you have had a change of tenancy, then you may only require a visual inspection to ensure fixtures and fittings are not damaged or missing, but if you have not got any evidence of a periodic inspection or maintenance of the electrical system then a periodic inspection would be necessary which involves completely inspecting for signs of damage wear and tear corrosion, and a complete test on the electrical installation.
A common misconception is that a certificate would be issued, this is not correct as the only documentation that is recognised would be a periodic inspection form with a schedule of inspections and a schedule of test results. On this form any deviation or items that do not meet the current edition of BS 7671 would be highlighted with methods of correcting if required. For example if your house was built before 2005 then you may have cable of the old colour code (RED/BLACK), this would show up on you periodic inspection as not meeting the current edition of BS7671 but you would not need a complete rewire due to this issue if the rest of the test and inspection met the regulations. So as electricians we issue these forms not as certificate but as a record of the current state of the electrical installation with or without faults and corrective actions to follow. It would be your obligation to have the recommendations corrected if required.