You should look for competence, how many years in the business, amount of experience they have gained, and if they are approved. They should have the correct insurances in place for example public liability and employers liability.
Larger companies will have ISO 90001, ISO14001. They will be member of safety councils, or safety companies to make sure that they carry all the work in a safe manner together with health and safety polices, and so it goes on. However these companies will be more expensive as it cost thousands of pounds each year to maintain.
If you are unsure that a company is capable of carrying out this type of work to your property speak to their registered body such as the NICEIC/ ECA/ NAPIT ECT.
The electricity at works act (EAWR 1989) states a maximum of 5 years. This is assuming that you have a full history of previous test results. 90% of the time most companies don’t know where to find the previous test results, all they are interested in is getting a piece of paper and filing it without reading properly. This leaves the company open to massive litigation and fines for not following EAWR 1989, which says that in order to comply with the requirements inspection should be carried out as per GNC3 in conjunction with BS7671AMD3 (at present this will change when the 18th addition comes out) but it is also up to the inspector to determine the actual re-test period which he/she will from many years of experience be able to assess the state of the existing installation and therefore recommend re-testing at either the 5 year maximum or less depending on how bad it is.
There is a list for various types of property which is on guidance note 3 (gn3), but please be aware that these are the maximum periods between testing allowed, however they may be less.
I often see advertisements for companies that state that they can do industrial, commercial and domestic work, stating that they are a registered competent person and showing for instance the NIC approved domestic person logo. This basically means that they are only competent to carry out work in a domestic premises and this is all they have be assessed for. This doesn’t mean that are competent to carry out industrial or commercial work.
Many people are fooled into believing that a registered competent person can do all types of work, you need to be looking for an approved contractor and not a domestic approved contractor. Unfortunately from lack of knowledge and experience they tend to be cheaper, and until something goes wrong customers are blissfully unaware. Unfortunately, most customers are only interested in the bottom line not if the company or individual have the experience and the expertise to do the job. Which in our current climate tends to be the norm.
Some people are very good at theory and can pass exams, however they have no experience. This is learnt by years of practice on site, with various types of installations from house rewires to industrial installations, and types of wiring twin and earth, singles, pyro, conduit, trunking, tray ECT.
The difference with a theory person and an experience person is that they know the difference and can recognise what is needed rapidly and the installation is done to a high standard, however this tends to mean that the person with the certificate and theory gets the job because they lack the experience to price the job correctly, and the experienced engineers are the ones that have to go back and fix the installation properly. Therefore the customer tends to pay twice, unfortunately this happens when something goes wrong, the cost implications can be staggering.
You’re responsible for fire safety in business or other non-domestic premises if you’re:
✔ an employer
✔ the owner
✔ the landlord
✔ an occupier
✔ anyone else with control of the premises, for example a facilities manager, building manager, managing agent or risk assessor.
There are over 10,000 electrical fires a year in the UK alone. Ensure your premises are checked regularly, call us today on 0800 542 0638 to find out how.
The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) have some really useful recommendations for fire and electrical safety in rental properties.
Take a look at the RLA website for more.