How Often Should Fixed Wire Testing Be Carried Out?

How often should your fixed wire installation be tested?

Guidelines For Fixed Wire Testing Frequency

The Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET), which is fully supported by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), set out in their guidelines and recommendations that inspection intervals normally range between 1 & 5 years, depending on the type of installation and occupancy. Common types of occupancy listed with their recommened testing frequency are: 

  • Industrial
    Every 3 years
  • Retail
    Every 5 years
  • Offices
    Every 5 years
  • Educational Establishments
    Every 5 years
  • Restaurants and Hotels
    Every 5 years
  • Petrol Filling Stations
    Every year

Is Fixed Wire Testing A Legal Requirement?

As with Portable Appliance testing there is no law stating that fixed wire testing must be carried out. However electrical safety in the workplace is governed by the Electricity at Work (EAW) Regulations 1989. This requires that electrical systems (which include fixed electrical installations), shall at all times be constructed and maintained “so far as reasonably practical, to prevent danger.” It is the ‘Duty holder’ who is responsible to ensure that the law is adhered to. It is difficult to see how one can be sure that any electrical system is safe without some form of periodic testing.

Who Is The Duty Holder?

The Principal ‘Duty Holder’ is a person given the responsibility by a business or organisation for the maintenance of the overall quality standard of any electrical installation work undertaken. This also includes the standard of any testing carried out.

If you have been made ‘The Duty Holder’ who has been given the responsibility to organise electrical testing and/or any remedial work then you must ensure that the company or individuals entrusted to carry out these tasks are competent.

It is imperative that any work/testing commissioned is of a high standard so to, ‘as far as reasonably practicable’, reduce the risk of accidents.

If the ‘Duty Holder’ has advised as on the basis of  a ‘risk assesment’ that certain testing/improvements should be implemented then inhibiting factors such as ‘financial constraints’ should not prevent these recommendations from being carried out.

Simply stating ‘we can’t afford it’  would be, highly unlikely to be a sound defence in the case of an accident occurring as a result of these actions not being implemented.

Our advise to any ‘Duty Holder” who has been informed that their recommendations are not to be actioned purely on a ‘financial cost’ basis should be challenged. If this challenge was unsuccessful then we advise that who ever made the ‘financial decision’ is made aware that in the event of an accident occurring the fact that they have overridden the advice given would be documented. 

More Information

A full list of all occupancies and the corresponding recommended inspection frequencies is published by the IET in Guidance Note 3. Learn more about fixed wire testing here.

If you require any more information regarding the frequency of your fixed wire testing, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re passionate about electrical safety and we will try to help in anyway we can. Send us a message, or give us a call.


3 Years


5 Years


5 Years

Educational Establishments

5 Years

Restaurants & Hotels

5 Years

Petrol Filling Stations

1 Years