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Electrical Reports

There are two main reports for electrical inspections. Both methods apply to domestic dwellings and commercial properties respectively.


Visual inspections do not include testing, so the inspection is not likely to find hidden damage to equipment (for example damage to cables and 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 (EICR)) as being satisfactory.

These inspection reports provide a satisfactory or unsatisfactory result. Where there is an unsatisfactory result, details on category of issues will be provided with a supporting quotation for rectification.

Visual inspection should consist of the following checks to make sure that:

  • there are no broken or missing electrical components and accessories;

  • there are no exposed live parts;

  • there are no signs of burning at any of the electrical equipment;

  • protective main bonding is in place to incoming extraneous services;

  • the condition of the meter tails, consumer unit(s) and suppliers equipment is satisfactory.

This is not an exhaustive list of checks but should be done as a minimum. Durham Electrics electricians will also remove the consumer unit cover for a visual inspection of connected circuits. We recommend you carry out visual inspections on rented accommodation where there has been a change in tenants within the last 2 years and any recorded C1 and/or C2 findings from a EICR have been fully rectified. If in doubt we recommend that you carry out a full EICR.


Any electrician worth his salt will nearly always recommend that you carry out electrical installation condition reports rather than visual condition reports. This is because these reports include electrical testing which can provide much more information about the condition of the electrical installation including whether there could be the potential of hidden damage to equipment such as broken cables.

Why is an EICR required?

Electrical installation can deteriorate with use and age that is why it is important to periodically check the installations so as to reduce the risk of harm or injury to occupants / employees or members of the public. The maximum frequency of these checks depends on the premises but you maybe required to carry out checks in between for the following reasons:

  • When it is a requirement implied by Licensing Authorities, Public Bodies, Insurance Companies, Mortgagors and Landlords.

  • On a change of ownership or tenancy of the premises.

  • On a change of use of the premises.

  • In the event of any significant change in the electrical loading of the installation.

  • Where there is a reason to believe that damage may have been caused to the installation.

Electrical Installation Condition inspection involves the following:

  • Gaining access to various parts of the electrical installation in the home (including, where appropriate, areas such as accessible loft spaces), and buildings outside, such as the garage and shed;

  • there are no signs of burning at any of the electrical equipment;

  • Gaining access to any earthing or bonding safety clamps. These clamps may be fitted to the water and gas pipes (where they enter the property). In general, green and yellow cables connect between the clamps and electrical equipment, such as the consumer unit(fuse box);

  • Removing and replacing covers from a sample of accessories, such as light switches and sockets;

  • Removing and replacing the cover of the consumer unit (where testing is to be performed);

  • Running a test lead around the home during testing;

  • Unplugging or switching off almost all electrical equipment. One of the reasons for this is to prevent sensitive electronic equipment (such as light dimmer switches, washing machines or televisions) from getting damaged during testing;

  • Switching the electricity supply to the consumer unit and individual circuits on and off (several times and for various periods of time);

  • Checking for the presence of warning labels, instruction labels and circuit charts associated with the installation;

  • Recording the test results and any relevant information relating to the inspection;

  • Carrying out the necessary remedial work (if you agree to this) to make safe any dangers found in the installation, for example, if there is a bare live wire or connection.

What are the maximum periods allowed between Testing & Inspections?

Home Owners

You check your gas installations once a year but neglect one of the biggest risks of house fires - electrics. You should look to have your installation checked at least once every 10 years.

Landlords & Letting Agents

You have a legal obligation to make sure that your properties are safe for your tenants. This includes carrying out electrical installation reports (landlord safety checks). Durham Electrics advises that full electrical installation condition reports are completed at prior to new tenancy agreements. HMO properties (in particular student accommodation) should aim to have inspection reports completed prior to the new university year.


For commercial installations you should complete a full electrical report every 5 years. The electrical report in this industry is commonly referred to as the fixed wiring report or 5 yearly report.

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