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Periodic Inspection & Testing

Periodic Inspection & Testing

Fixed Installation Testing or Periodic Inspection and Testing forms an important part of any Health & Safety system.

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.

In addition to these legislative requirements many other organisations such as Insurance Companies place an obligation on their clients to carry out Periodic Testing.

Periodic Testing can cause disruption to the users in a building and for this reason is something that requires careful planning. A survey of an installation prior to the commencement of any testing will help to ensure that any Workplace Disruption will be kept to a minimum.

In practice it is often advisable to arrange for Inspection and Testing to take place outside of normal working hours.

At the end of any testing programme a detailed Periodic Inspection Report must be provided detailing extent and results of the Inspection and Testing and listing any recommendations for remedial actions that should be taken to ensure compliance with current standards. Reports should be kept for the lifetime of an installation.

The frequency of periodic inspection and testing must be determined taking into account:

  1. the type of installation
  2. its use and operation
  3. the frequency and quality of maintenance
  4. the external influences to which it is subjected

The table below provides guidance on the frequency of formal inspections of electrical installations as well as routine checks.

Type of Installation Routine Check Maximum Period between
inspections and testing
as necessary
Reference
(see notes below)
General installation
Domestic N/A change of occupancy/10 years N/A
Commercial 1 year change of occupancy/5 years 1,2
Educational establishments 4 months 5 years 1,2
Hospitals 1 year 5 years 1,2
Industrial 1 year 3 years 1,2
Residential accommodation at change of occupancy/ 1 year 5 years 1
Offices 1 year 5 years 1,2
Shops 1 year 5 years 1,2
Laboratories 1 year 5 years 1,2
Buildings open to the public
Cinemas 4 months 1 year 2,6,7
Church installations 1 year 5 years (quinquenially) 2
Leisure complexes 4 months 1 year 1,2,6
Places of public entertainment 1 year 5 years 1,2,6
Restaurants and hotels 4 months 1 year 1,2,6
Theatres 4 months 1 year 2,6,7
Public houses 1 year 5 years 1,2,6
Village halls/Community centres 1 year 5 years 1,2
External installations
Agricultural and horticultural 1 year 3 years 1,2
Caravans 1 year 3 years N/A
Caravan parks 6 months 1 year 1,2,6
Highway power supplies as convenient 6 years N/A
Marinas 4 months 1 year 1,2
Fish farms 4 months 1 year 1,2
Emergency lighting daily/monthly 3 years 2,3,4
Fire alarms daily/weekly/monthly 1 year 2,4,5
Laundrettes 1 year 1 year 1,2,6
Petrol filling stations 1 year 1 year 1,2,6
Construction site installations 3 months 3 months 1,2

Reference Key

  1. Particular attention must be taken to comply with S1 1988 No 1057. The Electricity Supply Regulations 1988.
  2. S1 1988 N0 635 The Electricity at Work Regulations.
  3. See BS5266: Part : 1988 Code of practice for the emergency lighting.
  4. Other intervals are recommended for testing operation of batteries and generators.
  5. See BS 5839: Part 1: 1988 Code of practice for system design installation and servicing.
  6. Local Authority Conditions of Licence.
  7. S1 1995 No 1129 (Clause 27) The Cinematography (Safety) Regulations

Information taken from IEE guidance note 3

Fixed Installation Testing requires the isolation of the electrical supply at various times during the inspection. This will cause disruption to the users in a building and for this reason is something that requires careful planning.

A full survey of an installation prior to the commencement of any inspection and testing programme will enable discussions between the client and MMV Contracting Limited and will help to ensure that any disruption will be kept to a minimum.

There may still be concerns regarding IT Systems, Servers, Telephony Systems and Building Management Systems which will not react well to sudden power downs. These issues are best dealt with by careful planning of the timing of testing in critical areas and working in conjunction with IT Departments and any other interested parties.

Periodic Inspection & Testing
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0845 0268 530
MMV Contracting Ltd
Behind 27 Crown Street
Kettering
Northants NN16 8QA
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