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What is Fixed Installation Testing?
Fixed Installation Testing has now been renamed as Electrical Installation Condition Reporting (EICR) but may still also be known as:
Periodic Inspection & Testing
Fixed Wire Testing
Hard Wire Testing
Test & Inspection
The Electricity at Work Act, 1989 states that all electrical systems and equipment used in the working environment should be in a safe condition. The Health & Safety Executive recommend that in order to comply with the regulations an inspection and testing programme should be undertaken at all places of work, known as Fixed Installation Testing.
Fixed Installation Testing involves the testing of electrical services and systems that conduct electricity around a building. It covers all of the hard wiring in a building and includes items such as main panels, distribution boards, lighting, socket outlets, air conditioning and other fixed plant. This is carried out by performing a sequence of rigorous visual inspections and electrical tests on all systems in the building.
Guidance Note 3 of the IEE Wiring Regulations states:
"Where diagrams, charts or tables are not available, a degree of exploratory work may be necessary so that inspection and testing can be carried out safely and effectively. A survey may be necessary to identify switchgear, controlgear, and the circuits they control."
In practice this means that Engineers carrying out the testing should initially aim to correctly identify all circuits in an installation by looking at a combination of circuit labelling and previous test information and by carrying out circuit tracing where necessary
Guidance Note 3 also states:
"Periodic tests should be made in such a way as to minimise disturbance of the installation and inconvenience to the user. Where it is necessary to disconnect part or whole of the installation in order to carry out a test, the disconnection should be made at a time agreed with the user and for the minimum period needed to carry out the test. Where more than one test necessitates a disconnection where possible they should be made during one disconnection period.
A careful check should be made of the type of equipment on site so that the necessary precautions can be taken, where conditions require, not to disconnect or short-out electronic and other equipment which may be damaged by testing."
Periodic Testing inevitably causes some disruption on the site due to the requirements for disconnecting electrical circuits at various times during the testing. For this reason careful planning and time management is a necessity, and in practice testing is often best performed outside of normal working hours.
The results and extent of periodic inspection and testing should be recorded on a Periodic Inspection Report and provided to the person ordering the inspection. The report must include the extent of the work, limitations, details of defects and dangerous conditions, and schedules of inspections and test results.
Immediately dangerous conditions should be rectified or reported without delay to the relevant duty holder. Other recommendations and observations should be reported using a numbering system to indicate the severity of each observation.
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