Is a 5 year electrical test correct for my location?

You may have heard mention of the five-year Electrical Installation Condition Report, or five-year fixed wire electrical testing certificate. However, the interval for this electrical safety report only applies to certain environments and certain buildings. There can be more frequent testing required for different electrical installations. We have provided a quick guide for you here for indicative purposes, however, it is well worth checking with your electrical testing engineers too.

Landlord electrical safety certificate for tenanted premises

From 1 April 2021, landlords leasing property to tenants in the UK must produce an electrical safety certificate that verifies electrical installations have been tested by an approved electrical engineer. The new electrical safety regulations aimed at landlords state an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) must be performed on rented properties every five years. The most recent copy must be given to new tenants within 28 days of them taking up residency in a rented property. A copy must also be lodged with the local authorities within 7 days of the inspection.

Commercial premises fixed wire testing

The 5 year electrical testing rule applies to commercial, office, retail and educational properties. This again will result in the issuing of an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR). However, other types of environments are recommended to have more regular testing, so it’s important to check which maximum interval applies to the particular type of building.

Commercial electrical installations exceptions to the 5 year rule

Type of installation – Routine check – Max interval between testing

  • Educational establishments – 6 months – 5 years
  • Industrial – 1 year – 3 years
  • Commercial – 1 year  – Change of occupancy/5 years
  • Offices – 1 year – 5 years
  • Shops – 1 year – 5 years
  • Laboratories – 1 year – 5 years
  • Medical clinics (general areas) – 1 year – 5 years
  • Medical clinics (medical locations) – 6 months – 1 year
  • Cinemas – 1 year1 – 3 years
  • Church installations – 1 year – 5 years
  • Leisure complexes(excl pools) – 1 year – 3 years
  • Swimming pools – 4 months – 1 year
  • Places of public entertainment – 1 year – 3 years
  • Restaurants and hotels – 1 year – 5 years
  • Theatres – 1 year – 3 years
  • Public houses – 1 year – 5 years
  • Village halls/Community centres – 1 year – 5 years
  • Agricultural and horticultural – 1 year – 3 years
  • Launderettes – Monthly – 1 year
  • Marinas – 4 months – 1 year
  • Petrol filling stations – 1 year – 1 year


This guidance should act as a starting point only to devise a periodic electrical testing programme that ensures compliance with the operational and commercial demands of the premises. In some cases, larger sites may be broken down into sections with testing for each run to a different schedule to ensure safety, minimise operational disruption and manage costs.

What is encompassed in electrical testing?

A 5-year periodic inspection involves performing a thorough inspection of your property’s electrical installations including electrical circuits. Sockets, electrical wiring, fuse boxes, light and switches must meet British Standard BS 76719 (IET Wiring Regulations).

What if my site doesn’t pass?

We’ve written an article all about this issue here. However, if you need urgent advice don’t hesitate to contact us immediately and we’ll be more than happy to discuss remedial work that may need to be conducted.




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