The Role of Electrical Testing in Property Management

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Electrical Testing Property

Electrical testing and property management go hand in hand and may even have a deeper connection than you might think!

Most of the time, you might not even consider the risks associated with faulty electrical equipment installed on the property – and that is the end goal of every great and well-maintained installation.

However, to ensure the safety of the property, its occupants, and all the assets located on the property, property managers must make sure that the premises undergo regular electrical testing. The reason for this is simple: in the worst-case scenario, faults in electrical systems can lead to fires which can quickly cause a lot of damage.

In this guide, we will look at the role of electrical testing in maintaining the safety and intangible value of the property and how electrical tests can help reduce the risks associated with faulty electrical systems.


The primary role of any electrical tests is to determine the health of the electrical installation.

These tests can help highlight potential problems that may lead to serious issues and can even help property managers detect everyday issues that people might face while interacting with power sources like outlets, switches, dimmers, and more.

Electrical tests can help identify the following faults:

There are a few common signs that indicate a faulty electrical installation such as flickering lights and the circuit breaking and tripping excessively. These occur during loose connections, or after extensive wear and tear.

Any electrical component connected to the grid is subject to fluctuations caused by storms, surges, or even local power line faults. When these surges occur, some sensitive electrical components may begin to accumulate damage.

Some damage is considered normal, like for instance, when coloured electrical wires begin to fade due to the breakdown of the ink within the superficial layer of the wire. This type of depreciation does not warrant a replacement of the wire since the internal copper components of the wire remain intact and operational.

However, when an electrical component begins to operate unexpectedly or shows warning signs of actual damage like cuts or burn marks, then it is time to intervene.

Some more serious signs include smoke or sparks, both of which typically manifest at a later stage when the damage has already been done and can cause serious harm to both human life and property.

You might already get an idea of where testing fits into all of this!

The best way to catch such issues before they become big problems is through periodic electrical testing and maintenance for residential and commercial properties.

Electrical testing and inspection include not only the electrical wiring and lighting but also all the electrical appliances, machinery, computers, security systems, and heating and cooling systems.

During the process, a certified electrician, like the ones from Calder Electrical, carries out the job to ensure that all the above-mentioned electrical systems and appliances are working properly, along with recommending the best preventive measures to stop any future issues from arising.

By maintaining a proper electrical testing schedule, property owners can also gain several intangible advantages by increasing the value of the property (more on this below).


As mentioned above, everything electrical is prone to corrosion and general wear and tear, especially when subjected to heavy use common in commercial and industrial properties.

Even in residential properties, some areas might be prone to more wear and tear than others. For example, the power lines that control the Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) regularly draw a lot of power and may be sensitive to power surges.

This system, along with other high-load appliances may quickly accumulate a lot of damage in an electrical system. This eventual demise of electrical components is exactly why property owners require testing services.

Electrical tests aim to:

  • Confirm that the wiring and installations are not faulty, damaged, or corroded,
  • Ensure the safety of people and property against electrical shocks and fires, and
  • Ensure that a property or building conforms to the wiring regulations for safety against electrical risks and hazards.

There are four types of safety checks included in electrical testing and inspection. They include user checks, visual inspections, detailed inspections, and portable appliance testing (PAT).

User checks

User checks refer to the visual inspection done by the occupants of the property. This can be the property manager, property owner, employer, employee, or virtually anyone who has access to the property.

The goal of user checks isn’t to provide definitive results and be comprehensive. It is merely a quick and easy way to detect obvious signs of damage such as damages to the cables, plugs, and wall outlet, burn marks on the equipment, plugs, and sockets, trapped, knotted, or frayed cables, and water damage to the equipment.

These obvious signs can alert the property manager and warrant a visit from a certified electrician who can perform more thorough inspections.

Please note if you notice a few or a lot of the signs mentioned above, you must call in a professional to do a thorough check of your entire electrical installation.

The reason for this is that, most of the time, a lot of electrical faults usually point toward a systemic issue. So, only fixing the things that you can detect may not be a great long-term solution.

Visual inspections

A visual assessment gives a quick analysis of how electrically safe the property is. A few visible warning signs of an overdue electrical inspection that can be identified through a visual assessment are:

  • Flickering, persistent electrical sounds, or fluctuating lights: if your lights have a buzzing sound when turned on or flicker when in use with other electrical devices, know that there is a prevalent electrical issue with your property’s wiring.
  • Discolouration, excess heat, and smoke: any discolouration or smoke near the outlets may indicate a fault in the electrical system. Build-up of heat occurs due to a fault in the wiring or an electrical component which may have the potential to cause a lot of damage if left untreated (read: fire).
  • Warm wall outlets: ever reached for a socket to remove or insert a plug and noticed that it’s hot? Well, that’s a sign of damage. If it feels warm to the touch, which it shouldn’t, it’s probably a good time to call a professional to look it over.
  • Circuit breaker trips: if circuit breakers trip during high voltage, then that’s good! The job of circuit breakers is to trip in case of a power surge. However, the problem arises when it happens too frequently. Call a certified electrician to check if there is a voltage fluctuation issue due to incorrect installations.
  • Burning and odd odours: any type of burning or smell from electrical components is grounds for an inspection. If the outlets and circuit boards smell unusual and you suspect there might be something burning in there, it is a clear indication that a fire has already started, and you need to call a professional ASAP.

Detailed inspections – Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR)

If you want a more serious and comprehensive report on the health of your electrical installations, then you might want to look into getting an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR).

EICRs are more detailed than a visual assessment and inspect the electrical installations for any faults that the latter could not identify.

Due to their detail and thoroughness, trained NICEIC-approved electrical contractors, like Calder Electrical, use electrical inspection checklists to guide them through the EICR.

The lists help them assess whether the installations comply with the wiring regulations or not and include pointers and notes related to each task with a brief explanation of what is required to be done to make it easier for the contractors to follow the SOPs.

If the inspections identify any faults with the system, the property is categorised into one of three codes, code C1, C2, and C3, depending on the level of danger there is.

  • A Code C1 classification indicates that the property is high-risk and immediate action is required.
  • A Code C2 classification indicates that there is potential danger and remedial action is required, though not that urgently.
  • A Code C3 classification indicates that there is room for improvements in the system and more investigation is required, but there is no need for worry or urgency.

If your property passes the electrical inspection, you will be provided with an EICR Certificate of Safety which states that all your electrical installations are safe and up to date. This document can be used by property managers when selling the property or transferring ownership of the property.

An EICR certificate of Safety is the gold standard for all property owners who want to have a positive reputation on their property and have peace of mind in the context of the safety of the installed electrical components on their property.

Portable Appliance Testing (PAT)

Electrical inspections usually focus on the electrical system itself, and not on the devices connected to the system. This is where Portable Appliance Testing comes in.

PAT is a safety measure taken to ensure that all portable electrical appliances and equipment are safe to use. A professional PAT test, like the one performed by Calder Electrical electricians, involves a certified electrical contractor visiting your property to perform a visual assessment of the appliances and then carrying out a proper test to check their condition.

Both types of assessments are equally important for a complete PAT test and to ensure that everything has been checked and is safe for use.

Most faults and defects can be identified by a visual test by keeping an eye out for overheating, burning, or unusual odours, whereas some can only be identified through a thorough inspection.

After completing the test, the certified electrical contractor will attach a sticker to the appliance indicating the health of the system in terms of a pass or fail.

The recommended date for the inspection is also written on the sticker for the property owner’s/manager’s and electrician’s reference.

The list can be long and usually includes:

  • Computers
  • Laptops
  • Tablets
  • Phones
  • Printers
  • Photocopiers
  • Extension cables
  • Electric radiators
  • Portable electric heaters/fans
  • IT routers
  • Projectors
  • Televisions
  • Vacuum cleaners
  • Microwaves
  • Portable grills
  • Toasters
  • Coffee machines
  • Kettles
  • Washing machines
  • Refrigerators and freezers
  • Dishwasher
  • Hand dryers
  • Vending machines
  • Security systems such as CCTV cameras


Electrical testing and inspection are a necessary procedure that can immensely help in maintaining the reputation of the property in the real estate market and it can also provide managers with peace of mind.

Here are the main reasons why testing is vital for all types of properties:

Electrical installation compliance

One of the worst ways to endanger your property is to not follow the necessary legalities.

Electrical installation and wiring, like all other things, deteriorate over time. For this reason, they need to be periodically maintained, tested, and inspected. Whether it’s residential or commercial properties, testing ensures the safety of your assets and is a requirement as per building laws.

Even more so for commercial properties! As per The Electricity at Work Act 1989, a business or commercial space must make sure that the installations are deemed safe for use by employees and the public.

The inability to do so, especially if there is an electricity-related incident or mishap on your premises, can land you in some serious trouble and deep lawsuits.

Health and Safety

Health and safety are probably two of the biggest benefits you can get out of regular electrical inspections, all others being secondary advantages.

Faulty wiring and installations can pose a serious threat to a property and the people in it. Electric shocks and burns are very common, and, in serious cases, they can cause sparks in the wiring resulting in fires.

A thorough inspection guarantees that all your installations are compliant with the law and there are no safety risks associated with the electrical systems.

Cost savings

If you think that testing is a waste of money, then think again! Testing can end up saving more money in the long term.

Periodic testing and inspections are classified as preventative maintenance rather than reactive maintenance since they help identify faults and defects before they pose any substantial damage to you or your property.

Power surges and outages can cause long-term damage to expensive equipment, such as computers, causing them to either malfunction or stop working completely – the resulting repair costs for which could be huge and unanticipated.

Also, faulty and inadequate electrical installations could unnecessarily add to your electricity bill despite you not consuming that much power. Regular electrical inspections don’t just check and rectify issues in your current installations but also provide time and cost savings for future inspections.

Liability and insurance

Having electrical installations thoroughly and periodically tested minimises the risk of damages, injuries, and other incidents – which is something that all insurance companies look for.

They just want to be sure that you have done all that you are required to do to make your property safe from all potential electricity-related risks.

You must always keep the important documents issued to you after the inspection in a safe place since providing evidence of up-to-date electrical installations not only reduces your insurance rates but can also help property managers with their dealings with the property.


We have been providing electrical services to residential, commercial, and industrial properties for over 40 years and are specialists in all aspects of electrical installations, maintenance, and testing.

All our work is fully insured, and we work to meet the standards set by the NICEIC to make sure all your electrical installations meet the current regulations, and all the notifiable work is signed off by the local authorities.

If you have unplanned issues within your home or business, we can provide a call-out service to rectify and solve any problems such as circuit tripping, loss of power, broken items that need repairing, or to check if you feel something is unsafe or a potential hazard.

Our team can generate a Visual Inspection Report (VIR) to identify anything visual that does not comply with the standards or looks unsafe, as well as a full Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) where we will identify and test each circuit to make sure they are not deteriorating and are safe for use within the current standards and regulations set by the BS 7671.

We can also provide PAT testing of appliances to make sure that any items such as kettles, computers, and microwaves are safe for use in the home and workplace.

Contact us here or call us at 0800 612 3001 to get in touch with our professional electricians for more information on electrical testing and how it can benefit property managers.