Fire Risk Assessment

What is this?

This inspection is the foundation of electrical safety in your holiday property and is also essential to help prevent electrical fires.

It relates to the wiring, consumer units (fuse boxes), switches and other electrical fittings that are actually part of your property. Typically, when a house is wired for the first time or is completely rewired, the electrician who carries out the work will issue a certificate that lasts for ten years. After that ten years, the installation needs to be rechecked periodically, hence why this is sometimes called a "periodic inspection". Periodic inspections are normally carried out every five years on older installations and must not be confused with Portable Appliance Testing (PAT Testing) which is a separate issue.

Why does it need to be done?

There are a number of reasons why an electrical system may become unsafe over a period of time. Damage to outlets or fittings, overloading of circuits, deterioration of cables and cowboy modifications, for example. Also, electrical standards are continuously improved so a system that was considered safe 25 years ago, may no longer be as safe as it could be. Overloaded circuits and damaged electrical fittings are also a major cause of fires so Periodic Inspection is a very important control measure within your Fire Risk Assessment.

Who carries this out?

This inspection must be carried out by a qualified electrician who is a member of one of the recognised bodies such as NICEIC, Elecsa or Napit.

What do they do?

During a periodic inspection, the electrician will take a close look at the electrical installation in your property and will test the circuits and safety devices with an approved test device. They will open up a lot of the switches, sockets and other fittings and will inspect them. Your electrician will advise you whether the system is safe or if improvements are required and how long it will be before another inspection is required. You should retain the inspection report in your property file and make a note of when you next need to arrange an inspection.

Some examples

Periodic Inspection report

A periodic inspection report

Click here to view the full PDF version of this report

Recent Electrical Installation

This recent installation will not need inspecting again for another 10 years

Older installation

Above is a an older installation that has grown over time. The old style fuse boxes on the left have re-wireable fuses. A modern RCD has been added at some point to improve safety. This type of system should be upgraded.

Above is a really old installation that desperately needs upgrading to modern standards

Dangerous live wire

This live wire was left hanging from a ceiling because no light fitting was ever fitted.

Damaged electrical socket

This is typical of the type of damage that occurs to electrical fittings over a period of time.

Overheated cable

This overheated cable was spotted during a periodic inspection. The heat has caused the insulation to break down. This was a fire waiting to happen. Caused by a 9.5kW shower being fitted in place of a 7.5kW one but without uprating the cable.

Damaged fuse box

Every so often you come across something that is just crazy. This broken fuse box is absolutely lethal. The system is also horribly out-of-date with no RCD.