Testing and Maintenance FAQs

Why does our electrical theatrical equipment need regular inspecting and testing?

According to the IEE Wiring Regulations Seventeenth Edition BS7671:2008 Inspection and Testing Guidance Notes, ‘Periodic inspection and testing is necessary because all electrical installations deteriorate due to a number of factors such as damage, wear, tear, corrosion, excessive electrical loading, ageing and environmental influences…legislation requires that electrical installations are maintained in a safe condition and therefore must be periodically inspected and tested.’

From a lay person’s point of view, your electrical theatre equipment needs testing to ensure that it is safe. However, regular testing, inspecting and servicing also ensures that your equipment is operating at optimum performance and will also extend the life of your theatrical equipment.

What is a ‘periodic inspection’?

A Periodic Inspection, or to use its new term Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR), is an assessment of the in-service condition of an electrical installation against the requirements of the standard to which it was installed, the current version is BS 7671:2008. It is an in-depth inspection on the electrical condition of the installation. An EICR certificate will satisfy insurance companies, individual contracts and local authority requirements. For further information, read this Electrical Safety Council Guide

How is it different from a PAT test?

PAT is Portable Appliance Testing. A portable electrical appliance is an item of equipment that is not part of a fixed installation but is connected to it by a cable and plug. This could be lanterns, a lighting desk or similar loose equipment used in the environment, not just lighting equipment. EICR differs greatly from a PAT test as it inspects the electrical installation, not appliances. We would recommend PAT testing your loose equipment at the same time as having an EICR to ensure the entire installation and equipment is in optimum working order.

Who should carry out the EICR and PAT?

Electrical inspection reports should be carried out by qualified and competent electricians registered with the NICEIC.

Are there any other inspections I need with regards to my theatrical equipment?

If you have any equipment that is used for lifting or lowering performance equipment or people, it will need inspecting every 6-12 months depending on the equipment and frequency of use adhering to The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER) .

If you have overhead fixed equipment such as lighting bars, trusses and curtain tracks, these need to be inspected under the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER).

How often do I need these inspections?

Statutory requirements vary dependent on the installation, building use or individual licenses. We would recommend having them annually all at the same time.

Is there any inspecting we can do ourselves?

Routine visual inspection of all equipment is recommended on a quarterly basis. We can offer training to staff so that they are competent in this area giving you peace of mind between our Annual Care Visits.