Electrical installations in commercial and industrial premises MUST meet industry regulated standards actioned by the UK government in order to ensure safety for all inside or nearby the premises.
This could include on-site staff or visitors, making frequent inspections of your electrical equipment an absolute necessity for your business. No matter how small or large your appliance is, testing should be completed on all electrical appliances – both fixed and portable – by a qualified electrician on a regular basis to ensure you and your business are fully compliant at all times of operation.
Electrical faults may not seem common, but once they arise, they can create devastating problems for your business. In fact in the UK last year there was over 63,000 household and business fires that took place, with a large majority of these caused by faulty electrical outlets or worn out sockets that are not grounded correctly. With the age of buildings always rising, the wiring behind the sockets and outlets wear, with the wires loosening over time until they eventually break.
Whilst visual inspections of your electrical equipment can help to identify any faults or defects before they have the opportunity to develop into a serious hazard, it’s important to schedule comprehensive inspections and tests for your electrical systems and equipment on a regular basis, especially in more built up areas where electrical items are common (offices, student accommodation…etc). The typical methods adopted by an electrician when it comes to types of electrical testing include:
- Initial Verification Inspection and Testing
- Periodic Inspection and Testing
- Portable Appliance Testing (PAT)
Although many business owners are aware that they should be using regular compliance checks already, they still run the risk that everything will be fine, until it’s not. Business owners are advised to devise and invest in a programme of regular testing and inspection for the electrical installations and systems within their premises, in order to ensure continued compliance, and thereby protect the safety of staff and visitors. This is known as periodic fixed testing, the frequency of which is determined by the type of equipment or system that’s installed.
Fixed wire testing is also seen as a common method of electrical compliance. Fixed wire testing involves the testing of all electrical circuits and hard wiring that distribute electricity around the property. This includes:
- Lighting supplies
- Power circuits
- Distribution boards
- Consumer units
A fixed wire test will highlight any existing or potential issues with the electrical appliances in your premises, such as a lack of earthing or bonding. Your electrical engineer will also be able to identify circuits that are potentially overloaded, fitted with faulty components, or any circuits that may have been installed incorrectly. Especially if your premises was built over 50 years ago, these checks are extremely important to help protect your work space.
Employers and business owners are required by law to ensure that all electrical equipment and circuitry is regularly checked and properly maintained (in accordance with the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989). Once your fixed wire testing is complete, you’ll receive an EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report) certificate as proof of your compliance with these regulations. Should your electrical engineer identify any potential or existing defects with your electrical equipment, the necessary works will need to be carried out in order to see this rectified, and a new report may then be issued once the repairs have been completed.
These are the most common and effective methods of finding potential faults in your electrical systems, but other methods also include emergency light testing and fire alarm testing, which of course can be completed by yourself in the workplace. It is stated by law that business premises must test the fire alarm inside their premises weekly.
Here at MeKo Electrical, we complete a number of different compliance tasks, providing expert and qualified PAT testing, alongside a number of electrical and fire alarm servicing. We ensure safety and protection of your home or business premises with every visit, with our reliable electricians having a plethora of knowledge and understanding surrounding all appliances. We are equipped to attend industrial, commercial and domestic jobs, as we are more than happy to complete work for a variety of different business sectors.
As well as PAT testing, we have been able to expand our service to offer our customers a full range of quality assurance and safety services for your business. With multi skilled and qualified engineers, we are on hand to complete various services on each visit, meaning you can cut down how many different companies you have to deal with each and every year when it comes to testing your appliances.
It is a legality for businesses and premises to check their fire alarms weekly (1/2 times a week), to ensure the safety of those within and staff, whereas for PAT testing, handheld and more frequently used and transported equipment should be tested every 12 months due to the increased risk of damage. Emergency lighting must also be tested monthly with a short functional test and an annual test for the full duration of the system in place, alongside thermal imaging for your building’s switchboards.