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EICR vs. PAT Testing: Which One Does Your Business Need?

3 May 2023

Whether you’re a facilities manager or business owner, chances are you’ve heard of EICR and PAT testing, but are you aware of the differences between the two, and what they’re needed for? Both are key components of maintaining a safe electrical system, but they serve different purposes. Our guide breaks down what each one is and will help you to understand why your business needs them.


What are EICR tests and why are they important?

EICR stands for Electrical Installation Condition Report. Also known as Fixed Wire Testing or the Periodic Inspection and Testing of an electrical installation, EICR tests are key to making sure an electrical system is in a good enough condition for continued use by both property owners and the public.

Essentially, an EICR is a report into the condition of an electrical installation and is essential for identifying any potential risks or defects in your electrical system that could cause harm to people and damage to your property. So, it is recommended that EICR inspections are carried out every three to five years, depending on the type of building and its purpose.

If you’re a facilities manager for a commercial or industrial premises, or a small or medium sized enterprise (SME), keeping your electrical installations safe and compliant is your responsibility.

When is an EICR test needed for businesses?

There are a host of situations where an EICR is necessary to make sure electrical systems are safe and compliant with the relevant regulations, including:

  • If you’re moving into a new building
    Periodically, depending on the building and its purpose. For example, commercial buildings should have an EICR carried out every 5 years, while industrial buildings usually need an EICR carried out every 3 years
    If there has been a change in the use of the building or if there has been damage to the electrical installation
    For more information on EICR’s, click here.

PAT Testing

What is PAT testing and why is it important?

Portable Appliance Testing, commonly known as PAT testing, is carried out to check electrical appliances to make sure they’re safe to use. Including both visual inspections and electrical tests, they’re a thorough way to check for faults and defects.

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 require that any electrical equipment that has the potential to cause injury is maintained in a safe condition. While PAT testing is not a legal requirement, it is highly recommended to maintain the safety of both your staff and visitors, as well as to make sure you’re staying compliant with the relevant regulations. Keeping track of your inspections can also be an incredibly useful management tool, contributing to the planning of your overall maintenance schedule.

Not thoroughly maintaining your electrical appliances can lead to a host of issues down the line, including risks like electric shocks, fires, and other hazards. Depending on the type of appliance, it’s recommended that PAT testing is carried out regularly, especially if the appliance is heavily used or at particular risk of damage.

When is PAT testing required for businesses?

PAT testing is required for businesses that use portable electrical appliances like computers, printers, and power tools, with the frequency of the tests depending on the type of equipment and how often it is used. For example, equipment used in a high-risk environment, such as construction sites, should be tested more often than equipment used in a low-risk environment, like an office. PAT testing is also needed if your electrical equipment has been changed or damaged.

For more information on PAT testing, fill out our contact form below and a member of the team will be in touch.

EICR vs. PAT Testing: What’s the difference?

EICR and PAT tests are used to examine two different aspects of a building’s electrical systems.

EICR’s check a property’s electrical installations, including all fixed electrical equipment that is powered through the building’s electricity meter, like sockets, light switches and fuse boxes.

On the other hand, PAT testing is used to check whether a building’s electrical appliances are safe. This encompasses anything that needs to be plugged into a power source, like computer monitors, chargers, and even vacuum cleaners!

While both types of testing are important for electrical safety, they serve different purposes and are carried out by different qualified professionals.

Here’s a list of common items that need testing and which test is applicable:


Wall Mounted Sockets Computers
Light Switches Printers
Extractor Fan Switches Refrigerators
Circuit Breakers Monitors
Fuse Box Photocopiers
Consumer Unit Freezers

Our complete service offering

Can’t Afford Downtime in your Property? TEGG Might Be the Solution for You

TEGG testing is a unique electrical testing service that’s used as a preventative tool to view, diagnose, and predict weaknesses in a building’s electrical infrastructure without the need for costly operational downtime.

Particularly suited to hospitals and manufacturers where downtime is unfeasible or expensive, TEGG can help you to foresee and prevent a range of issues and unnecessary downtime costs, all the while supplying a safe and healthy environment for yourself and your employees.

TEGG can transform the way you maintain your electrical facilities for the better, and as one of only four TEGG contractors in the nation, we have the qualifications and expertise to provide you with the right maintenance solution.

Emergency Lighting Systems

When was the last time your emergency lighting system was inspected?

If you’re the duty holder or facilities manager of your property, it’s your responsibility to make sure the emergency lighting system is in full working order. And, in accordance with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, and the Fire Precautions Workplace Act 1997, the Duty Holder is legally obligated to ensure that the system installed adheres to BS 5266 pt. 1.

Let us shoulder the responsibility for you. We work with our customers to manage their testing schedules, provide monthly flick tests and annual 3 hour drain downs, and will contact you to arrange the test date prior to the due date, with no fuss.

So, when it comes to your electrical safety systems, both EICR’s and PAT tests are recommended to make sure your installations and appliances are working as they should. We’ll work with you to make sure you’re only ever getting the right inspection for your requirements, with no fuss or extra costs.

At the BES Group, we offer expert PAT testing, EICR’s, TEGG solutions, and a whole lot more, saving you valuable time and peace of mind when it comes to your electrical systems and equipment.

Our team of nationwide engineers are well suited to meet your safety requirements – in fact, that’s just our thing. No matter your location, we’ll keep you protected.

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