As a householder, you will be all too aware of the dizzying number of domestic issues vying for your attention. And while almost everyone appreciates that their boiler needs regular servicing, few consider their electrics until there’s some sort of problem. But why should you? You can’t see or smell electricity, directly. You might therefore be justified in thinking it best to let sleeping dogs lie and save your coppers for something else. Unlike gas installations, your fixed electrics will only in exceptional circumstances need attention on a yearly basis.
But, as mentioned above, electricity is silent and deadly and, often dangers only come to light when it’s too late. Some people feel confident to tinker with mains power, because as long as they manage to connect a circuit, electricity will flow. Often this will result in a circuit appearing to work correctly and this is why botched electrics will still function, despite being wholly unsafe. A good comparison would be driving a car without brakes being operational: everything would appear to be great till you tried to stop! BS7671:2008 makes specific recommendations related to the safe intervals that electrical installation condition reports should be carried out.
For an owner-occupied dwelling, it’s set at a maximum of 10 year intervals, with all major defects detected being rectified without unreasonable delay. If you let all, or part of your property, inspections should be carried out at a maximum of 5 year intervals, or at change of tenancy. It’s recommended that further testing is carried out at change of tenancy as some tenants will fiddle with electrics (no matter what you prohibit them from doing) and leave you with a potential legal situation when new tenants take possession. We routinely carry out inspection and rectification work for our private customers and can advise on all manner of compliance issues. If you’re considering electrical work, as an absolute minimum, choose a registered installer. More reading can be found here. http://www.niceic.com/householder/benefits