The EICR is a comprehensive check of the fixed wiring of your electrical installation. It’s a snapshot of your electrics to establish whether they’re safe and compliant with the regulations, and to identify any potential safety issues. It’s about checking the underlying electrical system – the wiring, the fuse board, earth bonding and all the other bits you can’t see that could be a risk – rather than whether your lights come on or not.

Your electrician will visit your property, make a visual assessment, and then carry out a series of checks on your electrical systems. If they find any ‘code one’ problems, ie problems that are immediately dangerous, they will need to arrange to fix those there and then or at least make them safe. They’ll note any other ‘code two’ problems that are potentially dangerous, and will provide a quote to fix them at the end of the process, along with any ‘code threes’, which are recommendations not deemed unsafe.

During the visit, the electrician will complete a seven-page report. A qualified supervisor will then sign off the report to make sure it’s correct. The electrical company will then provide you with a copy, following your payment for the visit and any work carried out. It will also provide you with a quote for any further remedial works recommended in order to bring your system up to standard. It can take a couple of days to process the paperwork.

Your electrician will check that your fuse board is safe and compliant with the current regulations – this means whether it has the necessary circuit breakers and RCD protection. (Residual current devices are designed to prevent you from getting a fatal electric shock if you touch something live.)

What should be checked during an EICR?

Other checks designed to prevent fatal electric shocks include ensuring that everything is correctly earthed. Your electrician will check this on your gas-meter pipework, water pipework, radiators and all the metal in the building.

They will also check a sample (at least 10%) of your sockets, lights, switches and accessories to see that the wiring is installed correctly.

Which? Trusted trader Darren Pennington, of Pennington’s Electrical Contractors Ltd, told us that the majority of properties they inspect do not pass with flying colours – in fact, he said he would be worried if they did. This is partly because the regulations are updated all the time. A property that was compliant today might not be in two years’ time.

‘The most common problems are no bonding to the gas or water-mains pipework, or an out-of-date fuse board,’ he said. ‘But the advantage of regular checks is that once you’ve corrected any major faults, those will stay corrected, and the amount of work and costs involved for further checks should be minimal.”

See this full article at Which? Trusted Traders