Blown a fuse? Perhaps it’s time for a PIR
The recommended time between periodic inspections is 10 years for a house. This is due to the fact that electrics deteriorate with time and usage.
Have a think about it – when was the last time your house had an electrical safety check-up?
Why Do I Need One?
Perhaps you are a landlord. Perhaps you intend to sell your home. Perhaps your home electrics play up now and again resulting in power cuts or blown fuses. Just like you maintain your property to combat rotten wooden windows, or the onset of mould & damp, you should have your electrics checked for safety.
Modern day standards are more scrupulous than what they were in the 60s. This could mean older properties are actually in need of an upgrade.
What Does A Periodic Inspection Involve?
A periodic inspection report (PIR) will identify if any of your electrical items, or the circuits that your electrics run on are overloaded, damaged, defective or not up to scratch with health and safety requirements.
It will look at the fuse board, switches, sockets and light fixtures, the wiring and cables in your household all the while taking into consideration wear and tear, damage and potential hazards.
Whilst it may seem like you are opening yourselves up to a bill, a decent tradesman will be more interested in prioritising your safety.
Think of it this way, if your car tyre was incorrectly fitted and meant the brakes weren’t functioning properly, would you continue to drive around in it?
How Long Will It Take?
This one is open to debate, but a typical 3 bed house having a PIR should take between half a day and a day. This will include a detailed check of all wiring, sockets, fittings and the fuse box, followed by a written report.
Whilst the offer for a quick, cheap PIR is attractive, be aware that you’re unlikely to be getting any real value for your money. The inspector may cut corners, meaning potential hazards go unnoticed and you eventually pay out for repairs that could have been caught early.
Perhaps most importantly, the whole reason of an electrical inspection is safety so having a decent PIR should mean less chance of freak accidents.
Who Do I Contact?
You want to ensure that you get a few quotes from local electricians in the area. Ask friends for trustworthy electricians they’ve used, or can recommend.
At the time of enquiring, make sure to ask the electrician:
- What qualifications do they have – are they City & Guilds (C&G) qualified?
- Do they work to the national safety standard?
- What does their insurance policy cover?
Whilst a plumber may promote the fact that they’re on the Gas Safe Register, with electricians you should check is if their inspection meets BS7671, which covers official Wiring Regulations. Introduced in 2008, it includes 850 rules that are looked at in the home periodic inspection.