Beginner’s Guide to Fixed Wire Testing

What Is Fixed Wire Testing?

Fixed wire testing, also known as an Electrical Installation Condition Report, is a procedure that tests the electrical installations and systems in a building to determine their condition and ensure they are safe, compliant with current regulations, and fit for purpose.

Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and Electricity at Work Regulations 1989, fixed wire testing is a legal requirement for all premises, including domestic, commercial, and industrial. As part of this act, it is your legal responsibility to ensure your electrical installations are in a safe condition and do not compromise the health and safety of your employees, or you risk injury, expensive fines, and invalid insurance.

What Does A Fixed Wire Test Involve?

A fixed wire test involves testing and inspecting all electrical installations and systems. A fixed wire test should be carried out by a qualified NICEIC accredited electrician. The electrician will test each electrical circuit, including lighting fittings, plug socket outlets, switches, air conditioning, distribution boards, and any other fixed wire system to determine the current condition of the installation.

The results of the test will be recorded as part of an Electrical Installation Condition Report. The report will detail specifics of the installation including the extent of the inspection, the inspection schedule, and test results. The report will assess limitations of the electrical system, identify any defects, and highlight any dangerous conditions. It will then outline any urgent repairs and faults that need to be rectified, and offer recommendations for remedial actions and advice on what needs fixed going forward to improve the standard of the systems.

A numbering system is used to indicate the severity of the condition found in the report. C1 indicates danger and risk of injury and, as a result, needs immediate attention. C2 indicates that faults pose potential danger and need urgent attention. C3 indicates that improvement is recommended. FI signals that further investigation is required.

The test needs to be carried out with minimum disruption and hence may be performed outside normal working hours as circuits will need to be disconnected and power will be lost at various intervals. The length of the test will depend on the size of the building and number of circuits.

How Often Should A Fixed Wire Test Be Carried Out?

It is essential that a fixed wire test is carried out periodically as your electricals deteriorate over time due to damage, wear and tear, corrosion, excessive use, and ageing. Hence, regular testing is essential to ensure systems are well maintained and to make sure issues don’t go undetected, worsen, and become dangerous.

Legislation requires that you keep your electrical system safe, so if you don’t carry out regular testing and inspection, you could put tenants at risk and face prosecution. A fixed wire test must be carried out every 1-5 years in compliance with health and safety regulations to avoid the risk of death and injury.

To decipher when you next need a fixed wire test, you should have been informed at your last test when you next test is due. If you are still unsure, you should have a record when your last test was carried out, and the time of the next test will depend on the type of electrical installation, type of use, which equipment is used, and levels of maintenance.

Fixed Wire Testing at AEL

Fixed wire testing by AEL will ensure that your electrical system is fit for purpose. AEL are approved NICEIC contractors and will carry out a full inspection and test, offer on-site repairs, and work to your greatest convenience.

Get in touch for further information about fixed wire testing, such as whether your test is due, or get a quote now to book your fixed wire test and ensure your electrical installations are fully safe and compliant.