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EICR, Fixed Wire Testing, and Fixed Appliance Testing – Are They Different?

April 28th, 2023

Last updated: May 31st, 2023

This is an area that has caused some serious confusion for many people who are looking to work out their legal obligations when it comes to commercial properties.

You can’t take any chances, and if you are the business owner and occupant of a building then it is your responsibility to ensure that you keep the building compliant.

You will probably come across the terms EICR, Fixed Wire Testing, and Fixed Appliance Testing. So, is there a difference between the terms?

EICR or Fixed Wire Testing

So what is the difference between an EICR and Fixed Wire Testing? The truth is, there is no difference.

An EICR is an inspection and testing process that assesses the safety and condition of the electrical installation in a building. It covers all electrical fittings in a building, including fixed wiring, sockets, switches, and lighting, as well as the consumer unit (fuse box) and other electrical control equipment. The aim of an EICR is to identify any defects or issues with the electrical installation that could pose a risk to safety and recommend any necessary electrical repair work.

Fixed Wire Testing is another industry term that means exactly the same thing. The two are used interchangeably, the term coming from the fact that the EICR checks the fixed wiring within the business such as the sockets and fuse box.

What is Fixed Appliance Testing?

A fixed appliance test may also be a term that is used in this context, but this also comes under the In-service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment regulation (often referred to as Portable Appliance Testing or PAT) and is not the same as the Periodic Inspection and Testing of an Electrical Installation which results in an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) and is based on BS 7671, the British Standard for the Requirements for Electrical Installations.

Generally, fixed appliances are items of electrical equipment which are supplied from the Electrical Installation, typically through a socket-outlet within the electrical installation and from a plug which is supplied with the appliance. Typical examples of fixed domestic appliances would be washing machines, tumble dryers, fridges and freezers as well as some forms of specific catering equipment.

To reiterate, specific testing of these falls under PAT testing, though EICRs will check that they are safe. Fixed appliance testing will only involve an electrical safety test of the appliances to confirm that the appliances are electrically safe for continued use. A Periodic Inspection and Test of an Electrical Installation which results in an EICR, involves an electrical safety test of the Electrical Installation to confirm the electrical safety of the Electrical Installation for continued use.

Renting a Commercial Property? Check Your Agreement

Some tenancies include the supply and use of fixed appliances and therefore the landlord may choose to periodically provide tenants with both an EICR for the Electrical Installation and an Inspection and Test Report for the fixed appliances. However, they are two very different things and will result in two different reports.

Both of these reports can be a crucial part of showing that you have met your responsibilities to keep the property in a safe condition for employees, visitors, and customers. As we’ve explained, an EICR test is a legal responsibility, and depending on your business and the purposes of the building, it will need to be carried out every one, three, or five years.

Advice on Your Responsibilities

The EICR report is utterly crucial. When getting this work carried out, you will receive an electrical installation condition report for the property, providing advisories for work to be completed or potential hazards.

If you still need help, our team can offer you advice on the testing you need to get carried out, as well as the frequency of EICR testing based on the type of commercial property.

At Robinsons Facilities Services, we cover the Yorkshire area offering EICR testing services. Complete the quick contact form or call 01423 226578 today.

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