Faulty electrical installations (fixed wiring) and equipment are a common cause of fires in commercial and industrial buildings. Read the following risk advice from LV= to understand your legal obligations and how to manage the electrical installation in your premises.
LV= have produced a concise guide to the current legal framework and best practice guidelines relating to electrical installations in commercial buildings.
In summary, the current legislation requires businesses to ensure that their electrical systems (wiring, switchgear and permanently fixed equipment such as motors, compressors, heating and lighting) are maintained “so far as reasonable practicable to prevent danger”.
Regulations specify recommended inspection intervals ranging from 1 to 5 years dependant upon the nature of the premises.
We often see Insurers applying electrical inspection conditions requiring policyholders to arrange an electrical inspection at their premises. Typically the condition requires a competent/qualified electrician from a recognised body to carry out the inspection and produce a report and certificate. Compliance with any requirements in the report would be required. An example of such a condition is shown below:
It is a condition precedent to Our liability that:
(a) the electrical system at The Premises is inspected and tested
by a qualified electrical engineer in accordance with IET
Regulations for electrical installations and a completion and
inspection certificate is issued following such inspection
(b) any work specified on such certificates to ensure that the
electrical installation meets IET Regulations shall be carried out
within 90 days of the inspection
(c) a copy of each completion and inspection certificate is retained
by You and available to Us upon request
(d) the electrical installation is further inspected and tested within
the timescale recommended on the completion and inspection
certificate or within 5 years – whichever is less.
Insurers are fearful of the fire risk presented by faulty or out of date electrical systems. As the LV= report states, electrical fires are second only to arson.
Who Are LV?
As one of our insurer partners, LV= offer a wide range of business policies designed for the SME sector. Established in 1843, Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society (which trades as LV=), is the UK’s largest friendly society and a leading provider of financial services products.