Portable appliance testing (PAT testing or PA testing) is the process where electrical appliances are routinely checked to ensure they are safe to use. This is achieved by carrying a series of visual and electrical tests.
What are the hazards?
There are many forms of Electrical Hazards with the potential to cause electric shock or fire. Common types of electrical hazard from electrical appliances include:
- Exposed electrical parts
- Improper earthing
- Damaged wire insulation
- Incorrect fuse size
What are the requirements?
PAT testing regulations require that all landlords, employers, and even self-employed individuals make sure that their portable electrical appliances are safe and are suitable and used for the purposes intended. These appliances should always be maintained properly and remain in good working order.
Although there is no set rule on PAT testing frequency, only that testing should be done regularly to ensure preventative maintenance, however, there are recommendations:
- Offices, Shops, and Hotels – Class 1 equipment including stationary and IT equipment should be tested every 48 months. Moveable equipment such as extension leads and portable equipment should be tested every 24 months. Handheld equipment should be tested every 12 months.
- Schools – All Class 1 equipment in schools should be PAT tested every 12 months. Class 2 equipment should be tested every 48 months.
- Public Use Equipment – Stationary and IT equipment such as computers should be tested every 12 months. Moveable, Portable, and Handheld equipment falling into Class 2 should be tested every 12 months. Moveable, Portable, and Handheld equipment falling into Class 1 should be tested every 6 months.
- Construction – All 110V equipment used on construction sites should be tested every 3 months.
- Industrial – All industrial sites, including commercial kitchens should have Portable and Handheld equipment tested every 6 months. Stationary, IT, and Moveable equipment should be tested every 12 months.
Who should carry out PAT testing?
The regulations deem that any competent person can perform PAT testing by using a PAT instrument or tester. The visual examination of each appliance in addition to the actual PAT test should be performed only by someone who is deemed competent.
According to PAT testing legislation, a competent person is someone who has experience or knowledge of being able to check and test appliances for safety purposes. Those with knowledge of electricity in general as well as anyone who has experience in electrical work can be deemed capable.
Electrical work must only be carried out by a competent person who has experience or knowledge of being able to check and test appliances, to avoid danger to themselves and others.
However, we would recommend getting a certified electrician to carry out the work to ensure that the work has been carried out correctly.
Our PAT testing service
We provide a per-item cost for a number of appliances. The per-item price can vary depending on the number of appliances there are to test.
Upon completion of the portable appliance inspection and testing we will provide a report that details the following:
- An inventory containing each appliance type, name, and location
- A full set of test results for each appliance tested
- A full list of any failed items with an explanation of their failure
- A visible pass or fail label on each appliance detailing the inspection date