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Challenges of a Christmas Light Switch-On Event 

As Christmas approaches, light displays are beginning to go up in cities and towns around the country in anticipation of a big switch on over the next few weeks. For many, this is when the festive season really kicks off and they can begin counting down the days and making preparations.

Although an incredibly joyful time of year, it is also the time when electrical fires are most common due to illuminated decorations. In order to avoid injury and stay safe this Christmas, it is important to follow the appropriate procedures to ensure no dangerous electrical faults occur.

Main challenges

For large scale lighting displays, such as those that adorn our local towns, there are certain challenges that arise. Being placed in busy areas with hundreds of people walking by each day and night means that it is crucial that all the correct safety precautions are put in place.

The main challenges faced at these events include;

Ensuring electrical safety

Inputting electrical displays into a public arena comes with its risks. The insurance and responsibility of hundreds of people’s safety is a big task to take on, however, it is all worth it for the joy it can bring if done correctly. The main thing to ensure is that any outdoor, fixed electrical lighting is fitted by a registered, NICEIC approved electrician to guarantee that any display complies with the appropriate safety standards.

As your chosen electrician will know, any lights installed outdoors need to be designed for this purpose and be able to withstand extreme weather conditions. It is also a crucial requirement that all outdoor sockets are 30ma RCD (residual current device) protected. This means that if an incident occurs where the cable is cut or damaged, the entire flow of electricity will switch off to avoid shock or injury.

Crowd control

As hundreds of people gather in one place, there needs to be measures in place to manage these crowds. Road closure is necessary to allow room for entertainment and activities such as Christmas market stalls, food vans and funfair rides whilst ensuring the safety of large groups of children and adults. Voluntary wardens tend to be put in place to manage and instruct crowds regarding rules and social behaviour. Also, it is a good idea to have local authorities present to deal with any trouble that may occur.

Keeping energy efficient

When large scale lighting displays are installed all over the country, it is natural to be concerned about the amount of energy this will use. However, as systems develop, there are now plenty of options to ensure a large bill doesn’t rack up.

LED lights are the favoured option these days. They use much less energy and are longer-lasting than incandescent bulbs, lasting for 4,000+ hours. This type of bulb also offers multiple style options, whether you choose string lights to illuminate your shop fronts and trees or festive symbols affixed to the high street lamp posts.

The use of timers will also assist your town or village in saving energy this season. Programming the lights to turn on at dusk and switch off as soon as the sun rises will preserve energy and avoid waste.

Find your local light switch-on

Christmas lights in Oxford Street in London

Hertfordshire loves to celebrate the festive season and cater to all ages, friends and families.

Get these dates in your diary to ensure you don’t miss your local switch-on;

Hatfield – Saturday 16th November 

A Snow White themed event kicking off in the town centre across from White Lion Square, The Arcade and Market Place. 

St Albans – Sunday 17th November

Enjoy Santa’s Grotto, live music, food, drink and fun in the city centre.

Hertford – Friday 22nd November

Annual Christmas gala in the town centre from 3.30pm – 8pm.

Harpenden – Sunday 24th November

The Christmas Carnival is returning to the high street, lights will be switched on at 5pm.

Stevenage – Thursday 28th November

Festive fun and special guests from 4pm onwards in the Town Square. 

Hitchin – Saturday 30th November

Head to 27 Churchyard for a whole afternoon of fun, 12pm until 6pm. 

Or, if you want to go big this year, head to the capital and explore some of London’s best festive light displays.

Choose Point Electrical…

We offer high-quality and cost-effective commercial lighting services to suit your needs. Get in touch and choose us to ensure your Christmas light switch-on goes ahead as safely and efficiently as possible.

Is Your Business Ready for The Rise of The Electric Car?

Electric Car Parking SpaceThe rise of the electric car in the UK is rapidly gathering speed, literally and metaphorically! In a bid to reduce emissions the government has pledged that by 2030 at least half of all new car sales, and at least 40% of all new van sales, will be hybrid or electric. The provision of government subsidies has encouraged more and more car manufacturers to invest in the development of electric vehicles that are as cost-effective to produce as they are to use, and whose performance matches most standard fuel-powered vehicles. The trend for electric vehicles (EVs) has led to a huge rise in the number registered in the UK, from just 3,500 in 2013, to almost 250,000 as of September 2019.

How to get your business electric car ready

The rapidly escalating number of EVs brings with it the necessity for changes to infrastructure in order to provide the required charging stations for the number of vehicles on the road. Service stations across the UK have installed charging stations and charging points are increasingly found on roadsides and service parking bays. Additionally, more and more businesses are investing in the installation of electric car charging points, and are increasing the number of electric car spaces, for employee usage.

The benefits to your business

There are many advantages to installing car charging stations at your place of work:

  • The reduced emissions help your business reduce its carbon footprint and drastically improves energy efficiency
  • The rising cost of fuel means electric cars are a much more cost-efficient option, not to mention the fact that modern EVs are cheaper to produce – a particularly attractive benefit to businesses offering a company car scheme.
  • Businesses prioritising sustainable, forward-thinking and energy-efficient initiatives will be far more attractive to prospective customers and employees

Tesla Car Charging at a point installed on a high streetGovernment grants to support your business

The government’s Workplace Charging Scheme (WPS) has been set up to incentivise businesses to install electric charging stations. The scheme, offered by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles, gives businesses a grant of £500 per charge point socket installed and up to a maximum of 20 sockets. So, businesses can benefit of a grant of up to £10,000 toward the cost of installing charging stations for their staff and customers.

Contact Point Electrical for your electric charge point installation

At Point Electrical our trained and certified contractors have extensive experience providing commercial electrical services.  We can provide expert advice on the location of your charging station, infrastructure required and the number of recommended charging points for the size of your business, and a detailed, transparent, no-obligation quote.

As with all our electrical services, our work comes with a 1-year guarantee, and is covered by our customer promise, giving you additional peace of mind.

Contact Point Electrical for a trusted, value for money service to help your business prepare for the rise of the electric car, for the benefit of your staff and customers.

How Will Brexit Affect Your Electricity Prices?

As the UK hurtles towards the Brexit deadline of 31 October, how is leaving the EU likely to affect your electricity prices?

Energy imports from the EU

Up to the end of 2018, the UK was importing around 5% of its electricity from the EU, and 12% of its gas. Energy is supplied via under-sea pipes and wires called interconnectors, and the UK has interconnectors with Belgium, France, Ireland and The Netherlands.

5% may not sound a lot, but this rose to an all-time high of 7% in the first quarter of 2019 after the opening of the interconnector with Belgium and the government intends to increase imports to around 20% by 2025 as it phases out our remaining coal-fired power stations. To that end, interconnectors with Denmark and Norway are being built and a further seven are planned. In short, the UK is becoming more and more dependent on imported energy.

Will my bills go up?

The leaked Operation Yellowhammer report suggests there could be a marked rise in energy prices for UK homes and businesses. Some of the reasons for this are:   Electricity power transmission

  • The absence of trade agreements governing the cross-border flow of electricity will end the frictionless trade we currently enjoy. The costs of any new tariffs imposed on the UK are likely to be passed on to consumers.
  • Transportation and import costs will rise if the UK leaves the EU Internal Energy Market.
  • The EU may reduce its investment in interconnectors with the UK.
  • The UK is currently part of the EU Emission Trading System (EU ETS), which puts a price on carbon through trading of emission permits. Should we leave, a replacement carbon pricing mechanism could prove more costly.
  • The falling value of the pound against the euro could lead to an increase in the market price of electricity.

University College London produced a report which showed a £2 billion rise in UK energy bills after the 2016 referendum, as the pound fell sharply. That translates to a £35 annual increase on the average household electricity bill, with a predicted increase of a further £61 every year thereafter.

Lawrence Slade, chief executive of Energy UK, also fears the worst. He said, “The lack of certainty around the future carbon-pricing mechanism as well as the rules underpinning the cross-border trade of electricity and gas create risk, and risk has a price. This situation is likely to create cost pressure that will feed through to customer bills.”

Energy shortages ahead?

Gas-fired power stations in the UK supply 42% of our electricity and much of that gas comes from Europe, so the race is on to increase renewable energy. While our windfarms performed well last winter, we still rely on power from our interconnectors to balance supplies during extreme weather or when wind and solar power is unavailable. Should the continent experience a prolonged cold snap, EU countries could restrict UK access to their energy stores in order to give priority to their own citizens, so it is possible that power shortages could ensue.

Can I protect against price hikes?

You may want to consider reviewing your domestic or commercial installation to make sure it’s as efficient as possible. Our expert engineers would be happy to assist. Contact us for further information.

Things to Consider When Renovating Your Shop

If you’re planning to renovate your shop, whether it’s for expansion, modernisation or simply to enhance your brand, here are a few things to consider to ensure you end up with a space that ticks all your boxes, justifies your investment, and wows your customers.

Design and planning

Designing a shop

The first and most important step, on which the success of the whole project will rest, is planning exactly what your renovation will look like. At this stage you will need to consider:

  • Objectives– Once you start making changes to your fixtures, fittings and décor it can be surprisingly easy to forget why you started the project in the first place. Whether you want to add space, achieve a better use of your existing space or simply upgrade and modernise, have your goals clear from the outset and always keep them in sight.
  • Budget– It’s easy for costs to escalate, so plan out and research costings for every element of your project to have the best chance of sticking to your budget.
  • Planning permission– If planning permission is required it will affect your budget and timescale, so check this way in advance of starting work, ensuring you give yourself plenty of time to account for all eventualities and any delays that may arise.
  • Book skilled contractors– Research and book your contractors in advance, ensuring you choose ones that have experience providing commercial electrical services, have the relevant certification and accreditation within their field, and provide a guarantee on their work.

Practicalities to consider

Once the overall project plan is in place, it’s time to think about the practicalities of your renovation, including: Commercial lighting

  • Fixtures and fittings– The style and materials of the fixtures and fittings you choose will have a big effect on the overall look and feel of your space and say a lot about your brand. If you’re looking to promote your environmental standpoint, for example, you may decide to feature furniture and fittings made of recycled, reclaimed and natural materials.
  • Practical use of space– When mapping out what goes where, think carefully about exactly how you want to use your space, and how you want your customers to navigate their way around. It’s worth considering the location of every shelf, plug socket and light fitting well in advance, because moving these later will cost you time and money. Choosing contractors experienced in commercial renovations will pay dividends, as they will have the knowledge, skills and experience to advise you on possibilities you may not have considered.
  • The wow factor– A key objective for any shop renovation will be to create a space that entices customers in a better way than your competition. So, check out what they’re doing, and think about how you can do it better! There are lots of ways to add that wow factor by considering your colours, décor and product placement, and how these can be enhanced with just the right commercial lighting. A well-lit window, and strategically placed spotlights can transform look and feel of your shop.

Choose Point Electrical for commercial electrical services you can rely on

At Point Electrical our professional NICEIC registered electrical contractors have years of experience working on commercial projects. We are excellently placed to provide the expert advice and skills needed to create your ideal space on time and in budget, whatever the size of your project. Contact us for a no-obligation quote for your shop renovation.

How to Keep Your Wires Organised at Work

If you’re finding your workspace dominated by a jumble of cables and wires, our easy-to-follow guide to effective cable management can help you create a safe, tidy and organised space you can be proud of.

Why it’s so important to keep wires organised

Beyond the obvious aesthetic advantages of having your desk space uncluttered by a tangle of messy cables and wires, there are a number of benefits to investing in office cable management:

  • Safety– unruly wires can be a tripping hazard and, over time, wires tangled together can suffer damage to the outer protective layer, leaving them exposed and unsafe.
  • A clean work environment –avoid the dust and dirt that settles on exposed cables.
  • Save time– no more having to navigate your way around cord clutter, and you can save the frustration of tracking and untangling cables when you need to unplug or move something.
  • Save money– instead of replacing devices that fail due to damaged cables, ensure your devices last longer and achieve maximum performance.
  • Look professional– a clean, tidy and uncluttered desk looks much more professional and impressive to clients than one surrounded by a tangled mess of wires.

Wire organisation solutions

Electrical wiresThere are a number of effective ways to get your office wires under control, and there are also a wide variety of products designed to meet specific cable management requirements.

  • Labelling – ensuring every cable is labelled will save time tracking individual wires when you need to unplug something and avoid the frustratingly common mistake of unplugging the wrong machine.
  • Power strip/plug management – if you have cables running from a variety of different plug points and extension leads, replacing these with one large, conveniently placed power strip will help keep wires in one place.
  • Hiding / storing cables –there are a number of solutions for safely gathering and hiding your cables so that they’re neat, tidy and out of view. Cable ties are ideal for gathering cables together, and cable sleeves are perfect for hiding them.
  • Shorten cables – once you have your cables neatly arranged, shortening any overly long cables will help to ensure that they all snuggle up nicely together at just the right length. But do not carry out any alterations if you are NOT qualified to do so.

Handy cable management/storage products

There are some nifty cable management products available that not only help to keep your wires under control, but also look good:

  • Cable sleeves– hide cables discreetly. Zippered cable sleeves are ideal if you want to be able to quickly and easily add and remove cables.
  • Quirky cordlets– adhesive holders you keep on your desk around which you can wind stray wires (USB leads, phone charger wires etc).
  • Cable clips– handy adhesive holders that sit on your desk for your individual computer cables to run through.
  • Velcro straps– for holding cables together.

Contact Point Electrical for a professional cable management solution

If you’re keen to tackle your office wires but have no idea where to start, appointing an commercial electrical contractor is the most effective way of ensuring the job is done quickly, effectively, and safely. Our experts have the skills and knowledge to advise on the best cable management solutions for your space, taking into account your individual requirements, and the latest and most effective storage solutions. Contact us for a no-obligation quote.

How to Become More Energy Efficient

Energy usage is a growing, global concern that is affecting us every day and could have even bigger implications on the environment and society in the future.

This energy use comes from multiple sources; home and work, transportation and industry in the form of fossil fuels as well as nuclear power, solar and biomass energy plus more. The main end goal and purpose of this is to produce electricity and gas to power the world.

How is energy use affecting the environment?

Using any form of gas or electricity requires large amounts of energy. When this energy is in motion, greenhouse gases are produced. This pollutes the air and causes damage to land, water, wildlife and public health, as well as global warming emissions. The effects of this are demonstrated in changing temperatures, damage to our ecosystems and a wilting planet that needs saving…and fast.

Why should I become more energy efficient?

Obviously worldwide energy use is a huge, intangible thing that one man alone is not going to be able to reduce. This is why there is no quick solution for minimising the impact it is having on the environment. However, small changes made by a large mass of people will start to make a difference and improve carbon footprint which will then hopefully encourage a lesser impact on the planet.

What can I do to make a change?

There are many steps you can take to reduce your individual carbon footprint and begin to also implement doing so into larger organisations such as your workplace, to make an even bigger change. The easiest way to do this is by making small changes around the home or workplace, reducing the amount of electricity you use and therefore the energy and money that you could be wasting.

At home:

  • Keep heating low – smart thermostats allow full control over when your heating is switched on meaning it is not wasted when you are not in.Installing a Home Automated Control System
  • Switch to LED bulbs – more efficient lighting options can reduce your energy use by half and save you money on your monthly bill.
  • Insulate your house – insulation in your loft, walls or floor is a worthy investment as your house will stay warmer for longer meaning you won’t need as much heating. This includes upgrading to double glazed windows!
  • Install a form of Microgeneration – using renewable energy is much healthier for the environment. Solar panels are most effective on south-facing roofs at an angle of 30 degrees. Or why not consider a wind turbine if your location allows it or if you’re lucky enough to live near a suitable river to have a water turbine installed!
  • Get an automated control system – These systems are very clever, but also budget dependent. An automated control system performs tasks such as only heating up certain rooms in the house. It can also turn off lights in unoccupied areas, turn down or off heating demands when a property is unoccupied and much more!

Although some of these suggestions may sound pricey at first, we can assure you that they are a worthy investment and you that you will save money and energy in the long run.

Our domestic electrical services include lighting control systems, installations and advice.

Cost Saving LightingAt work:

  • Switch off equipment when not in use – set your computer to sleep when not using it throughout the day when on break or in a meeting and ensure to fully shut down at the end of each day so nothing is running overnight. This also applies to other appliances such as the printer and air conditioning.
  • Update old equipment – old IT equipment can actually end up costing you more than upgrading to newer models as they tend to be more clunky and use unnecessary power to keep working.
  • Conduct an energy audit – regularly checking how much energy you are using will enable you to work better to reduce it and create a more efficient environment. You can even get a free audit from the Carbon Trust fund. To find out whether you are entitled to any government funding via the Carbon Trust, check out their Green Business Fund page here.
  • Promote sustainability – encourage others to change their habits, this could include recycling, reducing plastic use, printing less, walking/cycling to work etc.
  • Install a BMS system (Building Management System) – Either make small changes to your existing system or if possible, get a BMS system. We highly recommend BMS systems for new installations in particular.

To ensure you comply with workplace guidelines, our commercial electrical services include PAT testing, data cabling and installation of back-up generators as well as advising on electrical energy saving in your establishment.

How can I encourage others to be more energy efficient?

As previously mentioned, just one person making these changes isn’t going to have much of an impact. Encouraging the people around you to change their habits, whether it be family or work colleagues, will have a much bigger long-term effect on the environment and make a substantial difference.

At Point Electrical, we care just as much about providing efficient electricity use as we do about reducing carbon footprint. Get in touch to find out more about how our services can enable you to become more energy efficient.

How to Deal with a Power Cut in a Commercial Environment

Whatever the size and type of business you run, whether it’s office-based or retail, a power failure will likely have the same impact on your bottom line, your customers and your staff. With electrical systems now running the majority of organisations UK wide, it’s important to be aware of the potential impact an electrical outage could have on your business. Preparation and planning will help reduce its impact and ensure your business can recover quickly without incurring long-term problems as a result.

Prevention

While some power failures may be out of your control, it is also common for electrical faults to occur due to faulty equipment, lack of regular servicing of your electrical equipment, or faulty electrical installations by unregistered or unskilled contractors. The best way to prevent this happening is to choose electrical contractors that are skilled, reliable, and NICEIC approved to install and maintain your electrical systems, and to carry out regular inspections (EICR tests), ideally every 5 years.

Electrical Testing

Be prepared

As much as you can aim to prevent power failures from occurring due to problems with your own electrical systems, power cuts can occur due to extreme weather, power station faults and other issues outside of your control. Preparation is key to ensure that when a power cut does occur, the impact on your business is reduced as much as possible. Follow the checklist below to ensure you’re prepared:

  • Emergency lighting – Ensure that you have emergency lights installed and that they are regularly tested. Also, having flashlights readily available and accessible will ensure customers and staff can safely find their way.
  • Set up a power outage plan – it’s important to have this in place but also to make sure that all staff are aware of it to ensure it is followed accurately in the event of a power failure. This should cover:
  • Safety procedures – the safety of your staff and customers will be your immediate priority, so the plan should highlight roles and responsibilities to ensure customers and staff are able to safely navigate and exit the premises.
  • Informing your utility company – this should be a specifically allocated role to ensure one person is responsible for reporting the problem and liaising with your electricity provider to report on the likely timescale of the outage.
  • Equipment operations procedures – you should have procedures in place for the safe shutting down of equipment and how to access and operate emergency equipment (lighting, generator etc.).
  • Have a generator / UPS system in place – If a sudden failure of your electrical systems is likely to cause a loss of data or failure of key operating systems necessary for your business, you should consider having a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) systems in place so that in the event of a power cut, your systems can continue to run in the short term until they are shut down safely. For larger businesses, or businesses that need to ensure there is no interruption to electrical systems and services during a power cut, a generator will provide a longer-term backup system across multiple devices.

Choose Point Electrical for peace of mind

At Point Electrical, our qualified and Which? Trusted Trader recommended electrical contractors provide professional commercial and industrial electrical services for a wide range of businesses across all sectors and sizes. Contact us for advice and a no-obligation quote for electrical inspections and backup systems to prevent an electrical failure affecting your business.

The Importance of Being NICEIC Approved

Whenever you’re hiring a tradesperson or contractor to carry out work on your home or place of work, it pays to choose someone that is registered and accredited in their area of expertise. This ensures work is carried out at a high standard and comes with an industry approved guarantee. For trades like plumbing and electrical where the quality of the work could have a big impact on the health and safety of your family or employees, the NICEIC symbol carries assurance that safety is guaranteed.

 

What is NICEIC?

NICEIC (National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting) assesses and certifies contractors across several building services, including electricians, plumbers and gas and heating engineers. NICEIC registered contractors are assessed regularly to ensure standards remain consistently in line with NICEIC regulations.

For further peace of mind, the NICEIC offer their ‘platinum promise’ which covers all work undertaken within 6 years by a NICEIC registered contractor. This guarantees that any issues as a result of work carried out by a registered NICEIC contractor that has since ceased to trade, will be rectified.

 

The importance of NICEIC registration

Due to the nature of electrical work, homeowners, landlords or employees depend on the quality of the contractor’s work for their safety. With building regulations being updated regularly, it’s important to ensure your electrician is aware of and working to the latest regulations. So, NICEIC approval provides peace of mind not only to the client, but also to the contractor, who can be confident that the work they are carrying out is industry approved and guaranteed. Contractors can apply for registration directly to the NICEIC.

 

The risks of using unregistered contractors

Choosing to hire an unregistered contractor to save money is a false economy that is likely to cost you in the long run, in more ways than one. Without the NICEIC accreditation, you have no guarantee that the contractor carrying out your work is working to building regulations, or that it will be of high standard.

So, before booking your contractor, ask to see their credentials and check they are NICEIC registered. Get a few quotes and if one seems much cheaper than the others, double check that they aren’t using the NICEIC symbol fraudulently. The NICEIC have a wall of shame listing contractors who are doing this, so this is a good place to start if you have any doubts.

 

man's elbow leaning on platform

The benefits of choosing NICEIC registered contractors

In summary, regardless of the scale of the work you need to be carried out, you should always check your electrical contractor is NICEIC registered to ensure you get:

  • A high standard of work following regular assessment against industry standards
  • Work that meets the latest building regulations
  • A guarantee on all work completed

 

For peace of mind, choose Point Electrical

At Point Electrical all our contractors are NICEIC approved. We are also listed as a Which? Trusted Trader, as well as being Hertfordshire Trading Standards approved. Our customer promise assures you of a high quality standard of work and reliable, flexible customer service. All our work comes with a 1-year guarantee as standard, and as NICEIC registered contractors, it is also covered by the Platinum Promise. Contact us for more information and to book a quote for your electrical work.

Electrical Safety In The Workplace.
Electrical Safety In The Workplace.

Electrical Safety In The Workplace

Electrical safety is paramount in any workplace. It’s just as important as fire safety and evacuation procedures, as fires can easily be started by improper use of electrical equipment. We look at how both employers and employees can ensure everyone uses electrical equipment safely in their place of work.

Safety at work is primarily the employer’s responsibility, governed by the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 which sets out the employer’s duty of care to its employees. The Act also encompasses the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989, a set of guidelines to ensure that every electrical device and installation used by employees in the course of their job is safe and fit for purpose.

The law doesn’t specify when checks should be carried out. However, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) has recognised industrial guidelines, such as The IET Code of Practice for In-service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment, as well as Guidance Note 3.

It’s recommended that businesses have an EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report) carried out on their fixed wiring by a suitably qualified electrician every five years (in some cases this can be more frequent). In addition, Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) should be carried out annually on any electrical equipment which has a cable, a plug and can be disconnected from its power supply and moved.  Generally, PAT testing is carried out annually but the frequency of testing or inspection can vary depending on the appliance and the environment in which the item is located.  It’s also good practice to keep records of when equipment was last checked, marking portable equipment with the date it’s next due for testing so employees can see that the employer takes their responsibilities seriously and encourages them to do the same.

Man fixing electric socket.

Where are the main electrical hazards in the workplace?

The hazards are more obvious in an industrial environment due to heavy machinery and tools being in constant use. But, even in a seemingly benign office environment, there are risks of electric shock, power cuts or fires.  These could occur if computers, IT and kitchen equipment are not maintained, tested or used correctly.

What is the role of employees in electrical safety?

Employees can do their bit to ensure their own safety and that of their colleagues by performing visual checks on electrical equipment before each use, while it is disconnected from the electricity supply. These inspections can often identify the majority of electrical faults, and should include looking for things such as;

  • Loose, trapped, knotted or frayed cables
  • Damage to plugs
  • Damage to the outer cover of a device
  • Burn marks which may suggest overheating
  • Any exposure to damp or spillages

Whilst they may not be qualified to carry out any remedial action, they do have a responsibility to report any issues to their employer promptly rather than relying on the issue being identified at the next inspection. In addition, employees should avoid:

  • Overloading plug sockets
  • Touching electrical sockets or light switches with wet hands
  • Using microwaves, toasters or any other equipment they think may be faulty
  • Using equipment for any purpose other than that for which it was designed

Trust our skilled electricians

Point Electrical carry out EICR and PAT testing in and around the Hertfordshire area. Our electricians are skilled, positive people who are happy to help, whatever your needs. Find out more about our commercial and industrial electrical services or contact us for any query you might have.

What is EICR Testing?

An EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report), previously called ‘period inspection report’ or PIR for short, is an official report produced following an assessment.

What does an EICR involve?

An EICR involves a thorough electrical inspection and testing for:

  • Faults
  • Adherence to the Wiring Standards
  • Adequacy of earthing and bonding
  • Damage or wear and tear that could potentially be hazardous to the occupants
  • Damage to electrical fittings
  • Identification of installations that could dangerous to humans/livestock or be a fire risk
  • Overloaded electrical circuits
  • Defective electrical work

After completing an EICR report, the testing engineer will produce a certificate detailing any damage, wear and tear or other defects. Also highlighting anything that doesn’t meet present-day standards or may be a risk. An EICR will classify issues detected and any work required, using the following codes.

  • C1 – ‘Danger is present – Risk of injury, immediate action required.’
  • C2 – ‘Potentially dangerous – urgent remedial action required.’
  • C3 – ‘Improvement recommended.’
  • FI – ‘Further investigation required without delay.’

A report featuring C1 or C2 classifications will result in an ‘unsatisfactory’ report. Your electrical engineer will provide a quote for carrying out the work required to address each of the issues outlined. Once any C1 or C2 issues have been addressed, an EICR Certificate of Safety is issued. C3 issues won’t need to be addressed immediately in order for an EICR Certificate to be issued. However, your electrical engineer will make recommendations for fixing these issues before they reach C1 / C2, this is not only the safest, but also the most cost-effective course of action.  FI use is reserved for exceptional circumstances, such as where an observation cannot be verified and the inspector believes that a danger or potential danger exists.

Why are EICRs important?

Electrical cables are usually invisible, hidden inside wall cavities and cupboards, so damage or wear and tear is not always obvious. It’s only through electrical testing that potentially hazardous faults and fire risks can be detected.

When on site, we get asked whether we can see if an electrical installation is safe or not. But, no one can ever tell if it is safe just by simply looking at it. We need to carry out electrical tests with our calibrated testers.

An EICR will aim to:

  1. Find and report any damage or wear and tear to the electrical installation.
  2. Find any areas that do not meet IET Wiring Regulations.
  3. Find any areas that could be hazardous – e.g. potential for electric shocks.
  4. Record the results of the inspection, testing and (following any required work) certify that the electrical installation is safe until the next inspection.
  5. Provide an important record to inform future inspection reports.

How often do you need an EICR?

EICR testing is not technically a legal requirement, but there are laws and regulations. Particularly for landlords (Landlords and Tenants Act 1985) and businesses (The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989), outlining responsibilities for adhering to IET Wiring Regulations (BS7671).

EICR testing is recommended for landlords, business owners and homeowners at regular intervals to prevent the risk of fire and electric shock that comes with old and faulty wiring. Recommended frequencies:

  • Landlords for rented properties –every 5 years, or each time a new tenant enters your property.
  • Businesses – employers are recommended to have a test done every 5 years.
  • Homeowners –every 10 years, or annually if your property has a swimming pool.
  • Educational establishments, hospitals and industrial buildings are recommended to have an EICR test done every 3 years.

It is also recommended that an EICR test be carried out, regardless of whether you’re a homeowner, landlord or business owner when making any changes to your property that might affect any of your electrical installations. Work such as a home or office renovation is included in this.

How much does an EICR cost?

The cost of the EICR test will depend on what your electrical engineer is testing. Wiring regulations advise testing a sample of electrical points/accessories. This is particularly important for larger installations and will help you save on cost.

Costs will vary depending on the scale of the installations, but domestic EICRs are likely to start at around £200+VAT.  You should be wary of electrical contractors offering to carry out an EICR for free – it’s likely that they will then inflate the cost of the remedial works to make their profit.  If you find a contractor who is a lot cheaper than others, it questions whether their testing is thorough enough. We often see EICR reports stating ‘LIM’, meaning limitation. This only leads to further investigation by another engineer and doesn’t particularly tell that engineer and, more importantly, the customer anything at all.

Who should carry out your EICR?

An EICR test can be carried out by a registered electrical engineer. Check your engineer is NICEIC (National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting) registered or another approved electrical governing body. This ensures they have the training and qualifications necessary to carry out the test and inspection, also, any required remedial works.

Point Electrical EICR testing

At Point Electrical our skilled electricians have years of experience working with businesses, landlords and homeowners to carry out EICR tests. NICEIC registered and listed as Which? Trusted Traders, we guarantee a professional, high-quality service every time. Contact us for a quote or to discuss your requirements if you’re looking to have an EICR test carried out on your premises.