From nursery playgroups to universities, electrical equipment is found in every educational building, and work with electrical apparatus is a common part of many lessons. Maintenance, inspection and testing are essential to prevent damage to property and to ensure the safety of those working with or near electricity.
The law requires periodic inspection of
All electrical installations and equipment will deteriorate due to physical damage, wear and tear, corrosion, overloading and other environmental influences. By undertaking regular electrical inspections and testing of the installations, the 'duty holder' (the person/Board of Governors with responsibility for the safety of the installation) can help ensure any risks are minimised.
Property owners are duty bound by the requirements of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 (EAW) made under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The EAW Regulations require all systems and apparatus to be maintained and require proof that steps have been taken to avoid offence. Installations which conform with BS7671: Requirements for Electrical Installations are regarded by the Health & Safety Executive as likely to achieve conformity with the EAW Regulations and this includes periodic inspection.
In the absence of electrical inspections, insurance policies for buildings, contents, property, public liability as well as other insurance policies, may be rendered invalid.
Irrespective of listed status, special architecture, or use, the installation must conform with BS7671.
Frequency of inspection
The recommended maximum period between inspection and testing in this type of property is every five years. Our Engineer Surveyor will provide bespoke guidance and a recommendation on the periodicity during their first inspection.
Why choose HSB?
HSB Engineering Insurance Services, part of Munich Re, can help you reduce electrical fire risks through our extensive inspection expertise. As a leading specialist provider of inspection services in the UK, Ireland and Europe, our inspection services are formally accredited by UKAS to the international standards for inspection bodies (ISO/IEC 17020).
Drawing on our vast experience, our network of competent, technically-experienced Engineer Surveyors are ‘Competent Persons’ under BS7671. They operate independently of installation and maintenance parties and can, therefore, provide impartial reports to help you identify any electrical risks; whilst also highlighting any necessary repairs in priority order.
Specific concerns with electrical installations in educational properties
- accessibility to extraneous conductive parts
- foreign objects in socket outlets and other accessories
- unsecured accessories
- unreported damage to accessible parts of the installation
- ineffective emergency lighting
- power on lab/workshop benches
- overloading of socket outlets in residential areas
- temporary repairs that become permanent, particularly found in non-educational areas such as the boiler house, caretakers area and stores
- unauthorised amateur additions or repairs, most common in rural educational premises
- extended circuits and long cable runs causing voltage drop, cable overheating, switching power surges and restricting maintenance
- inappropriate cables routing
- risk to lone workers and staff
- VIR (vulcanised rubber) cables
- bakelite switches
- overheated concealed cables in the building insulation
- unsupported cabling causing termination strain and arcing
- original lead-sheathed wiring
- defunct accessories
- ancient cast-steel or iron switch-fuses
- two wire wound stage dimmers
- porcelain fuses
- failure of voltage operated circuit breakers through corrosion or loosening of the earth circuit
- older cable sheaths can be more prone to attack by rodents
- rarely accessed, including by maintenance staff
- not upgraded for increased power usage
- not modernised for improved protection
- system damage from cold starts
- earth rod disconnected or damaged by gardening machinery or vehicles