What is PAT Testing and why do I need it?
The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 state that any electrical equipment that has the potential to cause injury must be maintained in a safe condition. Therefore, all businesses have a legal obligation to carry out regular Portable Appliance Testing, more commonly referred to as PAT testing. This will help to ensure your appliances are in good electrical working order and are safe to use. In so doing, you will be protecting your employees, visitors and customers from harm.
What equipment do I need to test?
Any appliance that plugs into a wall socket (or generator) qualifies as needing to be PAT tested. This may include:
- Portable equipment
- Fixed / built-in appliances
- Hand-held equipment
- Equipment that is either plugged in or hard-wired to a connection unit
- IT/phone equipment
- Extension leads and adaptors
This will include equipment such as computers, fridges, vacuum cleaners, kettles, power tools, chargers and so on. In fact, pretty much any electrical appliance you will encounter in the home or office.
If you’re unsure of what equipment needs to be tested and what doesn’t, a bit of common sense goes a long way. And, of course, in you’re in the Warrington area, AGR Electrical can give you all the advice on PAT testing you’ll ever need.
How often do I need to test my appliances?
There is no hard and fast rule about this. To a large extent, it all depends on the type of equipment and the environment in which it is in use. For instance, a desktop PC is likely to need testing less often than a vacuum cleaner. As the PC rarely moves, it will be of low risk. But, as the vacuum cleaner moves around every day, it will of high risk. Also, the cables on cleaners tend to get pulled and trodden on no matter how careful we may be.
In such cases, you may want to perform a visual check on your cleaner before each use and carry out a full PAT test every 6 months. But for the PC, you may want to carry out a PAT test every 2 years for example.
As a business, you will need to carry out your own risk assessment and to create a schedule for PAT testing. Warrington businesses can always contact AGR Electrical and we’ll be happy to advise further.
Carrying out PAT testing
You will need to appoint a suitably qualified electrician to carry out full PAT testing services. However, any reasonably qualified person can carry out certain aspects of testing such as visual inspections.
Your staff should be able to identify and report simple electrical faults as a matter of routine. These simple visual checks ensure that any obvious defects are found at an early stage.
Formal visual inspection
You will need a suitably qualified person to carry out this more detailed inspection. This step includes a more thorough visual inspection of the appliance, cable and plug for obvious faults. It also includes extra checks on the fuse and internal wiring of plugs.
Combined Inspections and PAT testing
This is the most comprehensive test and involves the use of specialist PAT testing equipment. This determines if the device is electrically safe to use on the ‘class of construction’. For these tests, you need the right equipment, the ability to use the equipment and the ability to understand the test results. For that reason, you will need to appoint qualified electricians such as AGR Electrical to perform the PAT tests.
After the tests are complete, we will issue you with a report and certificates for those appliances that have passed the PAT test. We will further advise you of any equipment that is unsafe and what you need to do to make it safe. You may then call us back at any time to re-test the equipment once suitable repairs have been carried out.
Contact AGR Electrical for expert PAT Testing services
Over the years we’ve been in the electrical services business, we’ve seen some shocking (pun intended) electrical installations. Exposed wiring, overloaded circuits, wrong fuse rating, corroded connections, and much more. Such horrors will easily be spotted during PAT testing which doesn’t take long and is rarely very intrusive. As a result, it is a very effective and affordable way of minimising risks and keeping everyone safe.
AGR Electrical are fully experienced and qualified to carry out PAT testing on your premises. If you are based in the Warrington area, we can provide a tailored, contractual service or just a one-off service to suit your needs.