Tuesday, 6 September 2011

"Services that kill" - Electricity

A commonly noted issue during a Survey is the lack of an electrical test certificate.
NICEIC recommend testing every 10 years (maximum) on residential properties but in ALL cases testing is recommended “upon change of ownership”.

Electrical hazards are invisible but deadly, causing fires and electrical shocks. A defective electrical system can cause loss of life.
Government figures estimate that each year there are around:
10 fatal and 2,000 non-fatal electric shock accidents in the home
19 fatal and 880 non-fatal shock accidents in the workplace
There are also about 12,500 electrical fires in homes across the UK each year. Although many incidents are caused by faulty appliances rather than the electrical installation itself, a properly installed and well-maintained electrical system could save lives.
The Electrical Safety Council published the results of their National Consumer Survey and found that:
  • 42% of those surveyed stated they had never had their electrics checked
  • 32% of DIYers stated they had experienced one or more electric shocks while carrying out DIY 
  • 59% of people do not use qualified electricians when carrying out electrical work 
  • 48% of those surveyed did not know that their electrics should be checked at least every 10 years
Surveyors are insufficiently skilled (beyond a visual inspection) to judge whether the electrics are safe to use and the lack of testing conducted by members of a government approved Accreditation Scheme is sufficient reason to justify that a Condition Rating 3 (Urgent/Serious) should be applied.
So how can the issue be addressed so that it does not stall the sales process?
The first point of contact for the seller is generally the Estate Agent. The Estate Agent could persuade the seller to get the services tested during the sales process. Indeed this offers an “up-sell” opportunity for the Estate Agent. The seller should understand that failure to have the electrics tested could be problematic once they find a buyer.
If you would like further information on Electricity in the home please contact us for a “Free” Fact sheet.
This blog is written by Chris from Dickens Surveyors. 

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