What’s the most unsafe observation code in your Electrical Installation Condition Report: C1, C2, C3 or FI?

Your Fixed Wire Testing has been carried out and you now have your Electrical Installation Condition Report in hand. Turn to Section K and the Observations box of the Report and it should be coded C1, C2, C3 as appropriate, or FI.

These are classification codes assigned to your report after an inspection. These can mean that your installation is non-compliant with BS 7671 (Wiring Regulations set out by The IET) and therefore unsafe and hazardous for your business.

What is the most unsafe observation code?

The most unsafe observation code is C1. This code means danger present, risk of injury and immediate remedial action required. This is attributed to matters that need urgent action as it renders the instillation dangerous. Examples include accessible bare live parts, badly damaged equipment with risk of access to live parts, incorrect polarity, or arcing found in switchgear.

What code means your installation is potentially dangerous?

Observation code C2 means your installation is potentially dangerous – urgent remedial action required. This code is attributed for issues that, whilst urgent, do not require immediate remedial action. Examples include a non-earthed installation (this requires a further fault to result in danger), fundamentally undersized cables, earth fault loop impedance values greater than required by BS 7671, a ‘borrowed’ neutral, equipment with inappropriately selected IP (this may warrant C1 if severe), insulation readings under a certain level, connections not housed within appropriate enclosures.

What do the other codes C3 and FI mean?

The observation code C3 means improvement required, so this is attributed where C1 or C2 do not apply. Examples include the absence of most warning notices, absence of the required diagrams and charts, no or incorrect marking of conductors at terminations, absence of an RCD specified for additional protection.

The FI observation code means further investigation required without delay. An example could be where characteristics of electricity supply (such as voltage or external earth fault loop impedance) do not conform to supply industry norms. Amendment 3 to the 17th Edition IET Wiring Regulations BS 7671 now states that the FI observation code renders the report unsatisfactory and therefore a fail. This will need rectifying in order to make your business compliant and safe.

Intersafe specialise in Fixed Wire Testing, Portable Appliance Testing and Thermal Imaging, if you have any questions or simply would like to book a free of charge site survey, email angus@intersafe.co.uk

*Information taken from The Institution of Engineering and Technology Guidance Note 3: Inspection & Testing in the 17th Edition Wiring Regulations BS 7671.

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