Electrical Safety Tests Explained

There are two main types of Electrical Safety Tests that we carry out:

1. Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR)

All electrical installations deteriorate with use and time.  It is therefore important to have the electrical installation in your home or business inspected and tested periodically by a competent person.

The purpose an inspection and test is to detect and to report on any issues which may impair the safety of your electrical installation.  The output is a report, not a certificate, and will detail any areas requiring remedial action to be taken. For commercial properties an  EICR report is often requested by insurance companies and if so they should be consulted when determining the extent of inspection and testing required. The extent of inspection and testing to be carried out should always be agreed before work starts and can have a considerable bearing on the cost of carrying out an EICR.

The inspection will cover the following:

  • The safety of people using the system against the effects of electric shock or burns.
  • Protection against damage to your property by fire and heat arising from an installation defect.
  • Confirmation that the installation is not damaged or deteriorated so as to impair safety.
  • Identification of non-compliance with the current wiring regulations, or defects which may give rise to danger.

As a guide, the maximum period between formal inspections should be as follows:

  • Domestic Homes – 10 years
  • Domestic Rental Properties- 5 years/change of occupancy
  • Commercial Premises – 5 years
  • Industrial Premises – 3 years
  • Offices and Shops – 5 years
  • Education establishments – 5 years
  • Churches, Church Halls & Village Halls – 5 years
  • Restaurants and Hotels – 5 years
  • Public Houses – 5 years

2. Visual Condition Report (VCR)

A visual condition report will include the results of a visual inspection of the electrical installation and does not include any testing so the inspection is not likely to find hidden damage to concealed cabling or joints.  Usually, a visual inspection report is only suitable if the installation has been tested in the last couple of years, and the results were reported (on an electrical installation certificate or an electrical installation condition report) as being satisfactory.

For Landlords of domestic properties, a visual condition report would satisfy the requirement of the annual routine check but would not be sufficient  for change of occupancy or as a replacement for the 5 year  Electrical condition report.

This report does not  guarantee that there are no issues within the electrical wiring of the property.


Prices for the EICR and VCR are as follows:

Electrical Installation Condition Report – residential £20/circuit for first 8 circuits, £15/circuit for each additional circuit*
Electrical Installation Condition Report – commercial/industrial £18+VAT per single-phase circuit, £20 +VAT per 3-phase circuit*
Visual Condition Report – residential £50 +VAT 

*To find out how many circuits you have, count the number of breakers on your consumer unit (fuse board)