Emergency light testing

Emergency light testing.

What can you expect from ETM?

A typical emergency lighting test will consist of each circuit supplying emergency light being isolated in an attempt to establish that the battery in the emergency light fittings can keep all exits sufficiently lit in the event of power failure.

Unfortunately, there will be some periods whereby you will have to be without your lighting circuits. However, we are an experienced contractor that’s prepared to listen to your needs, and then create a schedule for working around them in order to keep you legal without affecting the running of your business.

Your Report Will Include:

Details of your lighting system
Circuit info & test findings
List of items inspected & tested
Details of deviations from the British standard

The latter will require your attention to ensure compliance with current UK legislation and to protect you from legal liabilities resultant of negligence towards your emergency lighting system.

Following an inspection of an emergency lighting installation, ETM will issue a certification that will detail the specific nature of the inspection – along with any departures from BS5266 that may exist.

Electrical Test Midlands have become a Registered member of ECA

We are proud to announce Electrical Test Midlands have become a Registered member of ECA. ECA is the UK’s leading trade association that represents and supports the interests of businesses and organisations involved in electro technical and engineering services design, installation, inspection, testing, maintenance and monitoring across the United Kingdom (excluding Scotland). Since 1901.

Five-year electrical checks compulsory for landlords

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Five-year electrical checks compulsory for landlords

23 July 2018

THE GOVERNMENT have announced a number of measures around building safety, including the launch of a consultation on building regulations and fire safety guidance.

The Government is yet to publish further details concerning the announced requirement for landlords in the private rented sector to carry out electrical installation safety checks every five years.

The National Association of Landlords (NLA) will be pressing the department for more information concerning:
the full scope of the inspections required
the regulatory and enforcement regime
who will be deemed competent, or authorised to carry out the checks
any exemptions which may be created, for instance in respect of new buildings
when the testing requirement is likely to come into force, and whether the Government is confident there will be sufficient qualified electricians to carry out the volume of inspections required.

NLA will also seek confirmation that portable appliances are not to be included in the checking regime, as they argued that this could introduce unreasonable practical costs and burdens for private landlords, relative to the risk posed by landlord-supplied appliances.

The secretary of state for communities, Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP, said there will be a full-scale technical review of the guidelines covering fire safety matters within and around buildings, known as ‘Approved Document B’, this autumn.

The Government are seeking views on the proposed clarification of statutory guidance on fire safety that aims to improve usability and reduce the risk of misinterpretation by those carrying out and inspecting building work. The key aim is to update the existing guidance to reflect modern building practices and technical and scientific innovations, including the latest understanding of fire risks.

In addition to the new electrical checks the Minister announced:
a residents panel will be established to ensure proposed safety improvements are grounded in the experience of those who live in high-rise buildings
Dame Judith Hackitt will chair an Industry Safety Steering Group to drive the culture change needed to improve safety and hold industry to account
working with a small group of organisations from industry, safety improvements will be piloted, in line with Dame Judith Hackitt’s recommendations, demonstrating early leadership on building safety reform.

Speaking at the launch of the consultation, he commented, “There is nothing more important than ensuring people are safe in their own homes. That is why I am announcing a package of measures focused on improving building safety, having listened carefully to the concerns which have been raised.

“Dame Judith’s report sets out the right framework to improve safety, but I will not hesitate to go further than the recommendations where I deem it necessary. That is why I am going further than my original commitment to simply clarify the guidelines, by commencing an end-to-end technical review of the fire safety aspects of building regulations in the autumn.”

The Government has continued its focus on building safety regulations, having previously:
Launched a consultation on banning the use of combustible materials in the external walls of high-rise residential buildings which are 18 metres and above. The consultation closes on 14 August.
Consulted on banning or restricting the use of ‘desktop studies’ from being used to assess the fire performance of cladding systems, unless our separate consultation demonstrates that they can be safely used. The consultation has closed and the government is reviewing the responses.
Announced further action to support local authorities as they work with building owners to remove potentially unsafe cladding on private sector high-rise residential buildings.

Its time to use Electrical Test Midlands

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Its time to use Electrical Test Midlands
Is your electrical testing due?
If you would like to see what ETM Electrical Test Midlands can do for your electrical testing, contact us directly to talk through your requirements. #Electrical Testing #Electrical Inspection & Testing #Electrical Compliance #Energy Monitoring #Thermal Imaging #Fixed Wire Testing #Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) #Emergency Lighting Testing #Fire Alarm Testing As a duty holder, you have a number of legal responsibilities to prevent danger arising from electrical systems and work activities on or near them. One of these responsibilities is to maintain electrical systems to prevent danger, of which regular electrical inspection and testing play a key part

PAT Testing

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ETM Ltd are experts in the field of PAT Testing.

Electrical Test Midlands was originally set-up to cater to the complicated, and ever changing, sector of electrical testing.

Our input within the industry has grown and our amount of experience allows us to interpret, and respond to, the ever-changing UK legislations and regulations that abound the PAT testing industry. Which is probably why we are continually awarded major PAT testing contracts across the UK.

pat testing header

Portable appliance testing is vital in order to prevent your business premises becoming a source of legal liability, injury or, at the worst end of the scale, loss of lives. Employee safety should always be a major consideration within any business – although the occurrence of electrical accidents within the workplace is still all too common.

This is where we step in, to ensure that your business premises is running with full electrical compliance. Giving you the peace of mind that comes from knowing you are not likely to fall victim to legal claims involving faulty machinery, a PC monitor with a loose connection, or even just from the use of a simple Kettle.

The testing procedure, itself, is not daunting or intrusive, and is carried out by ETM engineers in a very flexible and understanding manner. We know PAT testing and electrical safety is vitally important – but, equally so to us, is the efficient running of your business. Therefore, we go out of our way to maintain your business flow throughout the entire testing procedure.

 

Let us take the load

Our PAT Testing engineers will arrive at your premises with their testing tools pre-loaded with your business details. Each of your electrical appliances are tested and each one will be issued it’s own unique bar-code. Upon passing or failing a test the appliance is appropriately labelled and the details of this recorded.

After our engineers have completed the testing stage, they return to head-office to download and prepare your asset register and pass/fail certification and put together reference to any remedial work that was flagged up during inspection. If required, we can then return to rectify any problematic appliances – ensuring you of a compliant workplace and saving you from an electrical appliance related legal claim.

Require PAT Testing within your business? Call the experts, and one of our friendly team will be happy to advise you on how we can help. 0800 066 3227

Fixed Wiring Electrical Inspection

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Fixed wiring in-service electrical inspections, why they are necessary and how they can

benefit your business.

Helping you to understand your responsibilities

Electrical Test Midlands  – sharing technical expertise

It’s a near certainty that your business uses electrical power in

some way. Therefore, in order to manage risks and comply with

the law, your fixed wiring needs to be inspected regularly. Meeting

this requirement effectively, and ensuring that the benefits

outweigh the costs, requires you to be familiar with the concept of

fixed wiring inspection, and to know what approach to take.

Bear in mind, according to the HSE’s website (www.hse.gov.uk/

electricity), about 1,000 people per year have an electrical

accident and about 25 of those are fatal.

Definitions

The independent safety inspection industry tends to categorise

electrical equipment and systems as follows:

  • PAT – Portable Appliance Testing – for items like kettles.
  • Plant – for items such as motors, welding equipment, fans and

air conditioning units

  • Fixed wiring – all the equipment required to distribute electrical

power safely from the origin to all the plant, equipment and

appliances at the relevant site. Fixed wiring includes conductors

(e.g. cables and cords), connections (e.g. distribution boards),

switching devices, protective devices (e.g. fuses, circuit breakers

and residual current devices – RCDs), enclosures and, where

applicable, fire barriers.

Fixed wiring’s broad definition means that its inspection can

encompass little or much. At its simplest, the inspection is a

non-intrusive visual check of accessible components such as

distribution boards, sockets, cables, cords and light fittings.

At its most thorough, it could comprise the following:

? An appraisal of the job, featuring:

  • Job-specific risk assessment
  • Survey and testing of the installation’s earthing,

continuity, insulation, polarity, layout and

accessibility arrangements

  • Enquiries to determine the degree to which parts

of the system can be isolated

  • Review of available documentation

? Visual check of all accessible components

? Labelling, i.e. unique identification of circuits

? Functional tests to check whether all the relevant

components do what they are supposed to do

? Thermographic testing to quickly detect hidden defects as

‘hot-spots’ in the system

? Clear reporting – publishing circuit diagrams, all test

results and a summary of any defects with actions

recommended to make safe.

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Electrical Test Midlands  sharing technical expertise

A balance always has to be struck between inspection and

maintenance. Too little inspection/repair, and the risk will be too

great; too much inspection/repair and the cost will be too great.

Of course, the more preventative your maintenance, the lower

the reliance on in-service inspection and repair to control risks

in the first place. You will need to strike a balance between

inspection and maintenance (repair) activities that you are

comfortable with.

Another important consideration is whether you use the same

inspectors for maintenance or perform maintenance independently.

You will also need to choose whether to subcontract or go

in-house, the depth and frequency of the inspection (and

maintenance); and the degree of detail in the inspection reports.

You may simply wish to add electrical inspection to whatever

in-service inspection arrangements you have for other items,

such as your lifting equipment.

Deciding on the depth and frequency of inspection, and the

detail of reports, may be more difficult. The decision needs to be

based on a potentially complex interaction between inspection

activities, maintenance activities, production requirements, and

stakeholder expectations.

In our view: if you are not already doing so, you should make use

of risk-based inspection (RBI) techniques to determine the approach

that you take for the in-service inspection and maintenance of your

fixed wiring.

You should not be too daunted by the thought of applying RBI. The

rigour applied to the RBI assessment should be commensurate with

the scale of the electrical risk at your premises and it might not take

too much effort to complete.

Generally, the benefits of RBI outweigh the cost. RBI delivers a

specification for an inspection and maintenance regime that is

suitable and sufficient and optimises the risk-control-per-unit cost.

A suite of test methods and required outcomes are specified in

detail in the British Standard BS 7671: 2008, often referred to as

the IEE Wiring Regulations. In fact, the requirements of this

standard are not regulations in the legal sense.

The frequency and scope of your in-service fixed wiring

inspections should always be determined by an assessment

of the risks.

BS 7671: 2008 does provide guidance on both frequency and scope

of inspection for low voltage installations (less than 1,000V a.c.

or 1,500V d.c.), based on criteria like the type of premises:

e.g. ‘Three-yearly for a factory and five-yearly for offices.’

Note: this British Standard does not cover the public electricity

supply, electricity on vehicles, nor fixed wiring in quarries, mines

and other hazardous areas (where there is an explosion risk).

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Electrical test midlands – sharing technical expertise

Repairs and conflict of interest

Regarding repairs, the in-service inspection contractor may be

prohibited from undertaking repairs. For example, Etm is a electrical compliance company.

The risks and benefits

A few mA of electrical current can be fatal and the

mains voltage (230V a.c.) should always be considered

potentially fatal.

The principal hazard associated with fixed wiring is electric shock.

However, other hazards should be considered, including burns,

arcing (which can damage the eyes) and ignition – setting fires or

creating explosions if flammable/explosive materials are present.

What is at stake, of course, is the health and safety of people and

significant financial and business losses. So the benefits are clear:

control the risk to control the cost.

The law

The law says that all employers must safeguard the health and

safety of all people affected by their undertaking and, in the UK,

it is a criminal offence to fail in this duty of care.

Fundamentally, employers are required to assess the risks associated

with their business and manage those risks at a tolerably low level.

More specifically, employers are required to comply with applicable

regulations; often a large number of them.

For fixed wiring, the specific regulations are the Electricity at Work

Regulations, 1989 (EAW). The HSE has issued a very useful

document, which is freely available to download from their

website, entitled ‘Memorandum of Guidance on the Electricity

at Work Regulations, 1989.’

You will note that this guidance is non-prescriptive,

in keeping with the goal-setting format of the

regulations, which means that maintenance is a

statutory requirement, but the scope and frequency

of maintenance and inspection should be risk-based:

i.e. suitable and sufficient.

In spelling-out the requirements of the EAW regulations, the

HSE guidance makes it clear that fixed wiring shall be maintained

so as to prevent danger (so far as is reasonably practicable) and

that regular in-service inspection is an ‘essential’ part of

preventative maintenance.

For prescription, you can turn to the British Standard mentioned

above (BS 7671: 2008). Remember: This British Standard is

comprised of non-statutory regulations.

 

For more information

Should you require any further guidance, please contact:

(Etm) Electrical Test Midlands on 01922 710014

admin@electricaltestmidlands.com

www.electricaltestmidlands.com

 

 

what is Periodic Fixed Installation Testing (or Fixed Wire Testing)

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what is Periodic Fixed Installation Testing (or Fixed Wire Testing)?

Periodic Fixed Installation Testing (or Fixed Wire Testing) involves testing the electrical circuits and systems that distribute electricity around a building. It covers all the hard wiring in a building, whether that building is commercial, industrial or residential.  All electrical circuits in a building that are fixed, such as lighting, socket outlets, supplies to air conditioning and other fixed plant need to be tested.  You can find guidance for this testing and inspection process within BS7671 (The IEE Wiring Regulations).

Test frequency on new builds will be set by the designer responsible for the fixed wire installation. Thereafter it is specified by the test engineer in line with the following guidelines:

Maximum period 5 years between inspections and testing

  • Commercial (or change of occupancy)
  • Offices
  • Shops
  • Hospitals
  • Educational establishments
  • Restaurants and hotels
  • Public Houses

Maximum period 3 years between inspections and testing:

  • Industrial
  • Leisure complexes (excl pools)
  • Theatres
  • Agricultural & horticultural

Note that for some special installations (eg swimming pools, petrol stations, caravan parks) the recommended maximum period between inspections and testing is one year. Other regulations may apply such as Local Authority conditions/cinematograph (safety) regulations, etc.

Fixed Wire Test frequency

Fixed Wire Test frequency
Fixed Wire Test frequency

Periodic Fixed Installation Testing (or Fixed Wire Testing) involves testing the electrical circuits and systems that distribute electricity around a building. It covers all the hard wiring in a building, whether that building is commercial, industrial or residential.  All electrical circuits in a building that are fixed, such as lighting, socket outlets, supplies to air conditioning and other fixed plant need to be tested.  You can find guidance for this testing and inspection process within BS7671 (The IEE Wiring Regulations).

Test frequency on new builds will be set by the designer responsible for the fixed wire installation. Thereafter it is specified by the test engineer in line with the following guidelines:

Maximum period 5 years between inspections and testing

  • Commercial (or change of occupancy)
  • Offices
  • Shops
  • Hospitals
  • Educational establishments
  • Restaurants and hotels
  • Public Houses

Maximum period 3 years between inspections and testing:

  • Industrial
  • Leisure complexes (excl pools)
  • Theaters
  • Agricultural & horticultural

Note that for some special installations (eg swimming pools, petrol stations, caravan parks) the recommended maximum period between inspections and testing is one year. Other regulations may apply such as Local Authority conditions/cinematography (safety) regulations, etc.

How often should i get my electrical installation inspected?

Fixed Wire Testing
Fixed Wire Testing Electrical Test Midlands Ltd

How often should i get my electrical installation inspected?

Every electrical installation deteriorates with use and age. You need to ensure that your tenant(s) – or anyone entering or using your property – are not put at risk, by ensuring that the electrical installation remains in a safe and serviceable condition.

A periodic inspection checks the condition of an existing electrical installation against BS 7671, the UK Standard for the safety of electrical installations. A periodic inspection should:

  • Discover if electrical circuits or equipment are overloaded
  • Identify potential electrical shock risks and fire hazards
  • Find any defective electrical work
  • Highlight any lack of earthing or bonding

How frequently should an electrical installation be inspected?
For rented accommodation, the maximum period recommended between the initial inspection (when the installation was first put into service) and the first periodic inspection and test is five years.

Periods between subsequent inspections will depend on the condition of the installation at the time of the preceding inspection, but it is recommended that periodic inspection and testing is carried out at least every five years or at the end of a tenancy, whichever comes first.

Where a change of tenancy occurs after a short period (for example less than six months) a full periodic inspection and test may not always be needed. In such cases, the landlord or their representative should always carry out a visual check to confirm that the property is safe to re-let.

What about Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)?
The Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006 and the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Wales) Regulations 2006 require that every electrical installation in an HMO is inspected and tested at least every five years by a suitably qualified person, who should provide a certificate giving the results of the inspection.

Periodic Electrical Testing Specification Confusion

Fixed Wire Testing
Fixed Wire Testing

Periodic Electrical Testing Specification Confusion

Most specifications issued by contractors for Periodic Inspection and Testing services make mention of sample testing. This is an area that can often cause confusion for clients when trying to compare quotations for Periodic Testing, and also trying to ascertain the level of service they will be receiving.

Most electrical contractors will quote on the basis that 100% of electrical circuits from every Distribution Board in the installation will be tested, while only a sample (typically 10 to 20%), of the accessories on each circuit (for example sockets and light fittings) will be tested. This sample will be increased if a significant number of faults are found.

Guidance Note 3 (Inspection & Testing) does not allow for sample testing of circuits only.

When a contractor offers to insulation Test only a sample of the circuits on each Distribution Board (typically 10%), they are in effect offering a much lower level of service that will often be reflected in a lower price. The client should be aware that this lower level of service may not be sufficient to ensure compliance with the various regulations and recommendations.

If a typical electrical Distribution Board had for example 30 circuits, then a testing regime that offered to test a 10% sample of the circuits would only identify and report back on 3 of those circuits. It is also likely that the 3 circuits would be the ones that were most easily identified and tested.

Guidance Note 3 (Inspection & Testing) of the 17th Edition IEE Wiring Regulations recommends that the results of tests should be compared with those taken when the installation was last tested and any differences noted. Unless the reasons for such differences can be clearly identified as relating only to the sample concerned, more tests must be carried out. If these, too, fail to comply with the required values, the complete installation must be retested and the necessary correcting action taken.

The conclusion from this is that there are two possible scenarios that may arise from testing only a 10% sample of circuits:

1) The same 10% of the installation must be tested each time in order to compare results with previous test results, and the remaining 90% will never be tested.

2) A different 10% of the installation will be tested each time, in which case there will be no previous test results to compare against, and in a typical office type environment that will be tested every 5 years it will still take 50 years for all circuits to be tested.

Either scenario will very likely be a major cause of concern for any clients who correctly view Periodic Testing as a valuable Health & Safety function, as well as for insurance companies and/or the courts in the event of an accident or fire.

It is therefore felt by most industry experts that the interpretation of the guidance given in Guidance Note 3 with regard to sampling is that this applies to the accessories on each circuit as mentioned above, and not to the circuits themselves.