Because we can’t actually see electricity, it’s hard to tell when our electrical installations are going through a bit of wear and tear, and because most of the wires are hidden, sometimes we forget to check.
Faulty wires are one of the leading causes of fires in most homes and businesses, to reduce the risk, you can check the condition of your cables, sockets and switches regularly.
How old is your installation?
Below are some tips on how to tell the age of your equipment:
- Cables fitted in black rubber – stopped in the 1960’s
- Cables fitted in lead or fabric – used before the 1960’s
- Fuse box with a wooden back, any cast iron switches, multitude of fuse boxes – used before the 1960’s
- Round pin sockets (or any light switches), braided flex hanging from any ceiling roses, brown or black switches, any sockets mounted onto the skirting boards – used before the 1960’s
- Any light switches on the walls or in bathrooms – used before the 1960’s
It doesn’t matter how old your installation is as it will still get still get damaged and go through wear and tear at some point. It’s always best to call an electrician to check its condition at least every 10 years or when you move to a new building.
What is a condition report?
There are five aims of a condition report and these are:
- Records the results of your inspection to make sure your electrical equipment is safe to use until the next inspection
- Looks for any damages that might affect your safety and reports it
- Looks for any part of the electrical installation that don’t meet the IET Writing Regulations
- Looks for anything that might cause electric shocks or high temperatures
- Provides an accurate and detailed report of the installation, time of the inspection and inspection testing in the future
There are also two types of condition reports:
- Visual condition report – does not include testing and only suitable for the testing that has been carried out most recently
- Periodic inspection reports – this is normally recommended, it tests the installation and finds any hidden damage