Portable appliance testing, commonly known as PAT testing, involves checking electrical appliances to see if they meet regulatory requirements and safety standards. This assessment is completed through a series of visual inspection and electronic tests.
How does PAT testing work?
The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) advises that a PAT test should include three steps:
- User checks – checking for signs of damage, and assessment of if the equipment is being stored and used correctly.
- Formal visual inspection – checking more thoroughly for any signs of damage, including removing the plug cover and checking that there are no signs of internal damage
- Manual PAT test – the appliance is tested using a portable appliance tester.
What type of appliances need to be PAT tested?
Portable appliances refer to any equipment which can be moved, connected, or disconnected from an electrical supply. These items usually have a lead and a plug. Examples of portable electrical appliances include (but are not limited to):
- Vacuum cleaners
- Portable heaters
- Fridges and freezers
- Extension leads
What are the legal requirements for PAT testing?
For employers, the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 requires any electrical equipment that has the potential to cause injury to be maintained in a safe condition. The regulations do not specify what needs to be done, by whom, or how frequently.
Although PAT testing is not a legal requirement, testing your portable electrical appliances should be an important part of your maintenance regime to ensure that your items are safe to use.
Completing annual PAT tests on your electrical equipment can also help employers comply with other health and safety regulations such as fire safety laws.
Can you PAT test without being an electrician?
To complete a PAT test, you must have competent knowledge of the appliance and testing process. If you are not an electrician, it is likely that you don’t have the level of knowledge or equipment needed to perform a PAT test.
It is strongly recommended that you choose an experienced PAT testing expert to complete your maintenance checks, as this provides peace of mind that your appliances meet UK standards, are safe to use, and are running efficiently.
What is a PAT test certificate?
After a PAT test has been completed, business owners are presented with a PAT test certificate. This can be used to provide compliance to insurance companies, regulators, and your customers.
How much does a PAT test cost?
PAT testing prices will vary depending on the type of appliance and how many items are being tested. The experts at FireCare Security and Electrical offer competitive prices of PAT tests for businesses, offering an affordable way for you to meet your health and safety obligations.
Book your PAT test with FireCare
If you’re looking for a leading electrical company to test and maintain your electrical equipment, FireCare can help. Offering comprehensive electrical services including electrical installation, PAT testing, and electrical maintenance to help you comply with UK regulations and insurance obligations, our experts are on hand to keep your home or business compliant and safe. Get a quote today by completing our contact form.