Portable Electrical Appliance Testing

Portable Electrical Appliance Testing

McDevitt Electrical & Controls offer businesses fast and reliable PAT Testing services to ensure devices and appliances used by you and your staff are safe, keeping your business compliant and protected.

Portable Electrical Appliance Testing Main Features

PAT Testing Explained by McDevitt Electrical Contractors

PAT testing for Businesses

PAT testing is an abbreviation for Portable (Electrical) Appliance Testing. This is the process of examining electrical equipment and appliances to ensure standards and safety.

PAT testing is an important aspect of electrical safety that must be adhered to by all businesses in the UK. To ensure electrical devices and appliances used by you and your staff in commercial settings are safe, appliances must be tested and approved by an electrical contractor like McDevitt Electrical & Controls.

Ensuring all appliances are up to date with PAT Testing mitigates risks of electrical issues, ensuring safety, and compliance with standards and insurance policies as well as providing staff, visitors and customers with care.

How Portable Electrical Appliance Testing Works

PAT Testing must be carried out by an Electrical Contractor or professional. The PAT Tester must be qualified and trained to carry out the process of inspecting and testing electrical appliances to ensure they are safe for use. 

The purpose of PAT Testing is to deem appliances and equipment safe, which is achieved by identifying potential faults or defects that could pose a safety hazard.

Our electricians use the following approach to grade appliances as safe:

  • Visual Inspection
  • Classification Testing: Based on the type of appliance, our engineers will assess elements like resistance, insulation and leakages.
  • Functional Tests
  • Documentation
  • Grading: PASS or FAIL
  • Labelling
  • Retesting Schedule

When inspecting electricals, most defects are visually noticeable. But while this is the case, there are some defects that can only be found by further examination. This is why PAT Testing by professionals is crucial for electrical safety.

Both visual inspection and testing are key elements of the examination. Once tested, each electrical item is given either a PASS or FAIL. A label identifying the result is then attached to the appliance.

Once all of your appliances have been graded and labelled, our engineers will suggest a timeframe on when your devices may need re-testing in line with safety guidelines and usage. 

What devices require PAT Testing?

The name ‘portable appliance testing’ could suggest that only mobile and often moved items should be tested, but this is not the case. Portable Electrical Appliance Testing includes a large scope of items, used often by staff and visitors. While there is no specific list of devices that need PAT testing, equipment recommended for testing includes:

  1. Office Equipment e.g. Computers, monitors and printers.
  2. Kitchen Appliances e.g. Kettles, microwaves and coffee machines. 
  3. Audio and Visual Equipment e.g. Televisions, projectors and speakers.
  4. Tools and Equipment e.g. Hand-held power tools used in construction or workshops.
  5. IT Equipment e.g. servers, routers and extension leads/adapters (these are often overlooked but should be tested to ensure they don’t pose a risk)
  6. Cleaning Equipment e.g. Vacuum cleaners.
  7. Rented or Shared Equipment e.g. televisions used for events and exhibitions 
How often do appliances need to be PAT Tested? 

The official requirements stipulate that PAT Testing should be done ‘regularly’.  

The guidelines offer advice based on certain factors and scenarios indicating that the frequency of inspection of PAT Testing is dependent on several factors. The type of equipment can affect how often the testing is needed, which is similar to the type of environment the appliance is used in. Other factors include how often the appliance is in use, the competence of users, reason for use (such as domestic, commercial, or for hire) and records of the appliance. 

For example, a cordless drill being used on a construction site should be tested more frequently than a bedside lamp in a hotel room.  

Why is PAT testing necessary? 

Multiple regulations require electrical goods to be safe and maintained. An important framework is The Electricity at Work Regulations (1989), which is a legal obligation to protect employees from potential electrical accidents. Committing to safety assures the well-being of employees but also ensures the general public would be safe to enter your premises and be around the appliances. If there is an electrical issue, PAT Testing can either protect the people involved or protect the business from being liable (depending on the occasion). 

Neglecting your responsibility of PAT Testing can have serious, and even fatal consequences. There are prosecutions for employers who fail to meet requirements. A Metropolitan Borough Council had suffered two electrical safety incidents on two separate occasions and was fined £400,000. The neglect of electrical safety meant the council could be prosecuted under Health and Safety At Work etc. Act 1974, Section 2, Sub Section 1, and the Health and Safety At Work etc. Act 1974, Section 3, Sub Section 1. 

PAT Testing for Businesses in the North West

As electrical contractors, McDevitt Electrical & Controls Ltd offer PAT testing services. Our PAT testers all have valid PAT testing certificates and are up to date with requirements and training.

If you are searching for first-class electrical contractors, look no further. For more information and a free no-obligation quote from our trained operational staff get in touch.

Contact our staff directly on 01282 839 208.

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