Electrical compliance for commercial and industrial premises
Electrical compliance for commercial and industrial premises covers a range of inspections and testing to demonstrate that electrical installations, circuits, equipment and appliances meet legal safety standards.
It ensures that premises remain risk-free for staff and customers, and failure to comply can not only put people in danger but can also land those responsible with a hefty fine and even a jail sentence.
But with a wealth of health and safety legislation out there, it can be difficult to know what you need to do and when. That’s why we work with businesses to help them manage their electrical compliance and ensure they adhere to all the current electrical standards and requirements.
Here we’ll take a look at the inspections, testing and certifications required to ensure electrical compliance for commercial and industrial premises.
It is vital to use a ‘competent person’ for all electrical inspection and testing. Although the term ‘competent person’ is a bit of a grey area, in effect it means someone with the necessary experience, knowledge, skill and qualifications to carry out the inspection and testing correctly and to provide the documentation in a timely and appropriate manner. An NICEIC approved contractor will be able to fulfil these requirements.
Electrical certificate of compliance
An electrical certificate of compliance confirms that an electrical installation complies with the electrical safety standard BS 7671, and is a vital document for Building Regulations, the sale of property, and claims for electrical fires or injuries.
To ensure the correct electrical certificates of compliance are issued, electrical works must be carried out by a registered electrical contractor. This is important for any works, including testing and inspections in commercial and industrial premises.
Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR)
An Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) is issued following testing of the electrical wiring, circuits and system of a premises, to confirm that it complies with health and safety requirements. Different types of EICRs can be supplied, depending on the kind of work or testing that has taken place and the period of time between each inspection.
For commercial premises, testing and inspections should be carried out every three or five years, depending on what the premises is used for.
For industrial premises, testing and inspections should be carried out every five years.
Electrical Installation Certificate
An Electrical Installation Certificate shows that new electrical installations comply with BS 7671 regulations. It is issued following inspection and testing by a qualified electrician.
Minor Electrical Work Certificate
A Minor Electrical Work Certificate must be obtained following works to alter an existing electrical installation. It is issued following inspection and testing by a qualified electrician.
Periodic inspection and testing
To comply with BS 7671, periodic inspection and testing must be carried out on electrical installations that are neither new nor altered. It comprises both a physical and visual inspection. Once complete, an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) is issued.
Portable appliance testing (PAT) must be carried out on portable electrical equipment once a year. Although some PAT testing can be carried out by a member of staff, there are some portable appliances which require a higher level of testing that only a competent electrician can undertake.
Read our previous blog about PAT testing here for more information.
Fixed appliance testing
Fixed appliances that are not tested as part of PAT testing or EICR are required to be maintained to a safe condition, so it is worth considering them in PAT and EICR testing.
If you commercial or industrial property has a security alarm or CCTV system, these must be serviced and maintained regularly by a competent contractor, and considered as part of PAT testing. It must also comply with maintenance policy laid out by the Association of Chief Police Officers of England, Wales and Northern Ireland (ACPO).
Fire Risk Assessment (FRA)
A Fire Risk Assessment (FRA) should be carried out to ensure the safety of people in commercial and industrial premises. This includes regular inspection, testing and maintenance of the fire alarm system.
BS 5266-1 is the Code of Practice for emergency lighting, which is the lighting that must be provided along emergency routes and exits. It should be tested once a year by a competent electrical contractor.
Part P Certificate
Part P rules don’t really apply to commercial and industrial premises as they are focused on electrical safety in domestic properties. However, they do apply to retail premises which share an electricity supply with a domestic property, for example a shop with a home above it.
Part P applies to what is classed as ‘notifiable electrical work’ which covers new circuit installations, house re-wires, and additions or alterations to an existing circuit in particular locations such as rooms with a bath or shower.
DRF Electrical’s NICEIC-approved contractors help a range of businesses manage their electrical compliance. For more information call us on 0113 257 8212.