Testing, Testing – What safety tests do you need?

March 8, 2019 11:48 am Published by

Safety testing is a subject that is likely to lead to rolling of eyes and sighs, until something goes wrong. Then, whether at the prompting of insurance companies, fire brigade or landlord they assume a new importance. In this blog we will explain some of the more common testing regimes you may come across.

NICEIC periodic testing

All electrical installations deteriorate with age and use. They should be inspected and tested at regular intervals to check whether they are in a satisfactory condition for continued use. These checks are called periodic inspection and testing. For rented accommodation, the maximum period recommended between inspections and testing is five years. For Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) regulations dating from 2006 require them to be inspected tested and certified every 5 years. For commercial premises the rules are generally that they should be tested every 5 years or on a change of occupancy. There are some exceptions to this however, leisure centres, theatres and cinemas need testing every 3 years. Swimming pools, marinas and touring caravan parks should be tested every year.

Gas safety testing

For rented accommodation, it is the landlord’s responsibility to ensure an annual gas safety check is carried out. If you rent out property, you need to make sure you are aware of your obligations to your tenants regarding gas safety checks, carbon monoxide and the Landlord’s Gas Safety Certificate. The Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998 say that “It’s the duty of every employer or self-employed person to ensure that any gas appliance, installation pipe work or flue installed at any place of work under their control is maintained in a safe condition so as to prevent risk or injury to any person.” A business safety check is largely similar to a domestic one and should be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer.

Portable Appliance Testing (PAT)

Where periodic testing looks at the electrical installation in a building PAT testing examines appliances and equipment to ensure they are safe to use. While PAT testing is not a legal requirement in its own right, it is a tool to ensure safety and compliance with work regulations and also as employer it gives clear piece of mind, knowing that all electrical items that you and your staff members, operators and general public use are safe and fit for purpose and not a risk of causing damage or harm to people and premises. The HSE and insurance companies will expect you to perform PAT testing to ensure that you are compliant with The Electricity at Work Regulations of 1989 and Health & Safety at Work Act of 1974 amongst others. For rented property the requirements are again not enforced by law but will often by required by insurers. Most student accommodation requires PAT testing before electrical equipment is brought onto the premises.

Energy Efficiency Test

The final piece of testing common currently is the energy efficiency test, which gives you the EPC, Energy Performance Certificate, that is a requirement before you can sell any home or business. Only listed buildings, temporary buildings, churches and property lived in for less than 4 months per year are exempt.

Express Property Services can help with all these tests, regular safety testing is a crucial part of safely maintaining a property. Regular planned testing and servicing can improve the longevity of your installations and appliances. Get in touch to learn more about how we can help.  

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This post was written by Express Property Services