Do I need to have my appliances tested?
Under current legislation, there is a duty of care placed upon any employer, as well as residential landlords, to ensure that the electrical equipment provided by them for the use of their tenants or employees, is safe.
What is a "Portable Appliance"?
The term Portable Appliance is not merely confined to objects which might be regarded as “portable” and includes stationary, but moveable, equipment such as fridges and washing machines, or specialist scientific equipment. In other words anything that is “plugged into a socket.
Can anyone carry out a PAT Test?
Yes, so long as they are deemed to be “competent” That is, knowledgeable enough to be able to make an informed inspection of the appliance and, separately, its power cable (if connected by a separate plug to the appliance) and also to test it for electrical safety using suitable test equipment correctly. However, “competent” is a vague term - our staff are competent and fully qualified to PAT test.
How do you carry out the PAT Test?
Each item is visually inspected and then connected to our PAT tester to be tested for continuity and resistance.
Detachable power leads (“kettle leads etc”) and trailing extensions are classed as separate items as they require a different inspection and test.
If the plug is not a fused, sealed type, it must be opened and inspected inside. If we fail these, or the fuses (e.g. the fuse you have is rated to high for the item), we will rewire the plug and /or replace the fuse at no additional charge. If it requires a new plug there will be a small charge for a new plug.
We label each item tested and keep a signed record of all items tested. We supply you with a copy for your Health & Safety file.
We will contact you in 12 months, if you wish, to remind you that the test is due.
How often should it be done?
There is no specified frequency – it is left to your H&S Risk Assessment to determine: it depends on usage and the environment the equipment is in. For tenancies, it is recommended that before a new tenancy begins would be ideal. For businesses it simply depends on how much wear and tear or misuse the item is subjected to. For an office environment annually is probably safe, but site equipment would require more frequent testing. As ever, it is your insurers who are the ultimate arbiters. It is best to check with them to ensure that your insurance position is clear, in the event of an accident.