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inspection frequency

Inspection frequency summery

Legislation requires that electrical equipment must be maintained so that it remains safe. Legislation or Regulations do not state the specific frequency of inspection and testing. It is a matter of judgement on the part of duty holders to decide what level of maintenance is required to prevent danger. This should be ascertained by conducting Risk Assessments.

Fixed Systems and Equipment

Guidance on the frequency of examination is contained in several HSE and IEE guidance notes.  The most comprehensive are contained in the IEE guidance note 3 and these are summarised as follows:- Type of Premises and Maximum Period (years) between inspection and testing.


  • Commercial     5 Years / OR - (If there is a change of occupancy)
  • Educational     5 Years
  • Hospitals         5 Years
  • Industrial         3 Years

Buildings Open To The Public

  • Cinemas                                     3 Years
  • Leisure Complexes (Ex pools)      3 Years
  • Places of Public Entertainment     3 Years
  • Restaurants and Hotels                3 Years
  • Theatres                                     3 Years 

Special Installations

  • Fire Alarms                       1 Year
  • Petrol Filling Stations         1 Year
  • Temporary Installations       3 months (e.g. construction sites)

NOTE: BS 5839 specifies 5 years unless the occupancy type is designated as less, as shown above. In most circumstances 5 years should be adequate. Where quoted these frequency intervals are also confirmed in HSE Guidance Notes and in other legislation, e.g. The Cinematography (Safety) Regulations 1955. 

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