What Are Electrical Safety Certificates?
Firstly, for a basic understanding, let’s provide a concise definition of what an electrical safety certificate is. Electrical safety certificates are documents issued by a qualified or certified electrician to landlords or property owners, specifying the safety of the property’s electrical installations in relation to how it is used and what it is used for. An electrical safety certificate is usually issued after an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) has been completed.
When electricians wire a building or finish an electrical installation, they are mandated to provide documents that indicate that the building’s electrical systems are safe to use. The documents are referred to as electrical safety certificates. Electrical safety certificates are evidence of a building’s electrical system status that any landlord needs to have in order to prove the safety of their building’s electrical installation. The document certifies a building’s compliance with necessary electrical safety regulations and states that electrical appliances and connections are functioning properly.
Whether you’re a tenant or a landlord, avoiding the risk of living in a building with a poorly installed electrical system is something you’d normally want to look out for. In order to do this, you can turn to the issued electrical safety certificates. As a landlord, you’ll need to be able to provide a domestic electrical installation certificate to assure that your building is safe for human habitation according to the Renting Homes Wales Act 2016. If you are a tenant, you’ll need to verify from an electrical safety certificate that the electrical installation in your new home is completely safe.
According to statistical data, electrical mishaps are the reason for almost 10% of fire outbreaks in the UK. In many cases, the root cause of these incidents can be traced back to invalid domestic electrical installation certificates. Hence, it’s paramount that these certificates are only issued by certified electricians regulated by the UK government, as they’re the only persons who can issue you with a valid BS7671 electrical safety certificate. Without it, you can be fined as a landlord for contradicting the purpose of the Renting Homes Wales Act 2016, which is to guide the process of renting safe homes.
Living in a building with a faulty electrical system can be dangerous as it is to ignore gas safety standards, since electrical hazards can lead to fatal accidents like electrocution, burning of appliances, and so many others. To prevent this, various assessments, including checks and inspections, must be conducted to complete a building’s electrical system certification, after which an EICR report is issued to the building’s owner. EICR reports are issued after an electrician has inspected and tested the building’s light fixtures, plug sockets, wiring works, junction boxes, and other permanent electrical equipment.
In this article, we’ll discuss the following:
How Much Does An Electrical Safety Certificate Cost?
The price for acquiring an electrical safety certificate depends on various factors. Before a certificate is even issued to you as a landlord, your property must be properly inspected to ensure that the electrical installation and appliances are working well. This inspection has to necessarily be performed by certified and qualified electricians, and you’ll have to pay for the service. However, if you’re a tenant, you’ll not need to pay because electrical safety inspection fees are included in the rent fee.
One other major factor influencing the price of a safety certificate is the scale of the inspection that is required. For example, new electrical applications may need proper installation and special inspection and testing, which will also incur extra charges. The size of the house or the building also matters because assessing electrical appliances and fixtures in many rooms will cost more. In any case, it will be best to meet a certified electrician to understand the scale of electrical safety inspection you’ll need better.
It’s impossible to pinpoint exactly how much an electrical safety certificate costs. However, the cost of acquiring one for an average home should range between £100 – £300 or more depending on the number of rooms and appliances inspected.
How To Find An Electrical Safety Certificate Online
If you are unsure about your electrician’s evaluation or the safety certificate they give you, rest assured, as you can also gain the necessary electrical safety knowledge online. You can take electrical safety courses online that will train you to work with electricity and improve your electrical knowledge. Then, you can be able to tell by yourself if your electrical system and installations won’t harm you. After completing the training course, you’ll be given a certificate which is different from the one your electrician will issue you. The difference between the two is that;
- The safety certificate issued by your electrician contains details about your building’s electrical system and how in concordance it is with safety compliance.
- But, the electrical safety certificate you can receive online is only evidence of your training in electrical safety.
Both tenants, landlords, and owners of private and public properties can get an electrical safety certificate online as long as they complete special training and courses concerning electrical safety. The course is designed based on standards issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards which support the safety of personnel involved in electrical works and other areas.
As long as OSHA and NFPA standards guide the administration of the electrical safety course, they are in line with legal electrical safety compliance. You can find electrical safety training online with organizations like the National Safety Council and International Association (NSCIA) and Certified Home Inspectors (CHI). You won’t need any work or academic experience to take their courses. However, you might need to become a member to gain more privilege and have access to their materials.
How Long Does An Electrical Safety Certificate Last?
Electrical safety certificates technically do not expire. The main thing to look out for is the condition of your electrical installation and system. If your building’s electrical components are deteriorated or worn out, you’ll need to renew your electrical safety certificate. However, notwithstanding the condition of your electrical installation, under safety regulations, landlords are supposed to renew their domestic electrical installation certificate every 5 years.
After issuance, electrical safety certificates will cover you for up to 5 years against legal authorities; however, you can also renew them when you have a major electrical mishap, even if the 5 years have not yet passed. Moreover, rechecking your building’s electrical system every 5 years is the notion for the 5 year warranty of an electrical safety certificate. The building should be inspected for defects and possible issues. Based on inspection findings, you can create preventive measures or even completely change wiring or installation. After the inspection is done, the landlord would then be issued a new EICR displaying the current condition of the building’s electrical system.
If homeowners or rental property owners don’t renew their electrical safety certificate, they could be charged as criminals for endangering tenants’ lives and neglecting the Renting Homes Wales Act 2016. Remember to always verify that you have received a BS7671 electrical safety certificate upon each renewal to avoid facing problems from legal authorities.
Is An Electrical Safety Certificate A Legal Requirement?
Electrical safety certificates are necessary documents that ensure that a building’s electrical system is inspected and tested for safe in order to prevent faults. They are legal documents required by legal legislation, so they are legal requirements that every landlord or homeowner should have. Two types of electrical safety certificates are the Electrical Installation Certificate (EIC) and the Minor Electrical Installation Works Certificate (MEIWCs). oth documents are legal requirements that must be presented to authorities. In order to prove that the electrical installation of a building hasn’t been altered and is safe to use.
The legality of EICs and MEIWs is backed by UK authorities through the Part P of the Building Regulation. This regulation states that any electrical installation within the UK must be properly inspected and tested to ensure its safety for civilians and property. ccording to Section 91 of the Renting Homes Wales Act 2016, landlords and homeowners are supposedly responsible for the provision of a valid electrical safety certificate to assure that their property is completely safe for human habitation while also abiding by electrical safety compliance. It is now a mandatory and declarative document for anybody who intends to carry out any new electrical installation.
For landlords and homeowners, the rule is even stricter than in 2020, when electrical safety certificates were not necessarily important for rented properties. As of July 2021, the regulations were reformed, and the requirements of electrical safety certificates were made mandatory. Say a landlord received a poor report of their electrical installation condition that theyfail to rectify; they could receive a fine of £30,000. The legal requirements for any electrical installation states that:
- They should be inspected and tested periodically to guarantee tenant’s safety.
- Inspection on electrical systems must be carried out every 5 years at least.
- The results from an EICR must be shown to both tenants, landlords, and the local housing authorities.
What Is A Domestic Electrical Installation Certificate?
A domestic electrical installation certificate is a document that is issued to landlords of a domestic property after a thorough electrical inspection and testing job has been carried out on the property’s electrical installation. What invites the term ‘domestic’ is the exemption of all other building types apart from domestic buildings. Domestic buildings are buildings inhabited by family units. Unlike those , buildings like offices, schools, churches, hospitals, hotels, pubs, warehouses, restaurants, etc., fall under non-domestic buildings.
Domestic electrical installation certificates are only required from domestic residents. Make no mistakes, domestic electrical installation certificates still fall under the same general category but are only relevant for domestic buildings. Landlords often get issued a domestic electrical installation certificate after any inspection that has been conducted on the electrical system of their houses. As a homeowner, your home insurance policy may specify that you follow the best practices regarding electrical safety, meaning that you’ll need a valid domestic electrical installation certificate.
What is the BS7671 Electrical Safety Certificate?
If you’re currently in the UK, and have had any electrical installation work done, you were most likely issued a BS7671 electrical safety certificate. The ‘BS’ behind BS7671 which stands for British Standard, means that it is a certificate that shows that you have followed through with the British Standard of housing and building electrical wiring and setup. It is usually issued after the set up of a new electrical design, installation, or modification to ensure they comply with the necessary safety standards in the UK.
A new regulation was introduced in 2005, which stated that all new electrical setups in domestic and non-domestic buildings all over Britain, would comply with a particular standard. This standard is known as the BS7671 requirements. The requirements were designed to guide proper electrical installations that would neither compromise safety nor deviate from the compliance regulations set up by the legal authorities. This particular standard was also implemented to combat poor workmanship or the use of tools and equipment that are not up to the necessary standards.
The BS7671 electrical safety certificate is the only evidence a landlord can provide to prove that a building’s electrical system has complied with the British Standard of electrical system setup. It also shows that the installation of electrical appliances and components has been carried out by a certified electrician and under BS7671 guidelines. This certificate is only issued after a new electrical installation like installation of new circuits or first-time wiring. A landlord cannot be issued this electrical safety certificate for a minor electrical setup.
Remember that it’s paramount to allow only qualified electricians to run any electrical installation for your property as they’re the only ones that can issue you a valid BS7671 electrical safety certificate that includes your property’s electrical details.
Where To Get A BS7671 Electrical Safety Certificate
As mentioned above, the only way you can acquire a BS7671 electrical safety certificate is to have a qualified and certified electrician handle the electrical installation in your building. Only qualified electricians will be able to issue you with a valid BS7671 electrical safety certificate because they understand the BS7671 guidelines well and are the only persons who can implement these guidelines while tending to your building’s new electrical wiring or system.
A BS7671 electrical safety certificate is a very specific document that specifies the quality of an electrical installation or system. And to get quality electrical system service, you’ll need to have a very competent electrician run any electrical service on the property. Once your electrical system is done to the best quality under British safety standards and regulations, your electrician will issue you a BS7671 Certificate as proof of the quality and authenticity of electrical works. BS7671 certificates demonstrate compliance with EHS fstandards and they also need to be renewed periodically to preserve the authenticity of a building’s electrical compliance.