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What is PAT Testing?

Portable Appliance Testing (PAT Testing) involves a series of electrical and visual inspections on all portable appliances within a place of work. These tests determine whether or not the electrical appliances are safe for use.

Please view our What is PAT Testing page for more information.

What is a Portable Electrical Appliance?

A Portable Electrical Appliance is any electrical appliance that is moved when in use or can easily be moved from one place to another e.g. kettle, toaster, power tools, vacuum cleaners. This can also include larger items such as printers and photocopiers.

How can we be sure every appliance has been tested?

We have built procedures into our testing process that ensures tests are carried out on all equipment and that all equipment that is given a full PAT test is unplugged and checked correctly.

We actively ensure the quality of our engineers work as part of our service promise for your full peace of mind.

Plus, many companies PAT engineers are paid per test and earn more money based on how many they do per hour. At P&R we are proud to be different and all our engineers are paid on an hourly rate irrespective of how many tests they carry out. Therefore you can be sure they are motivated to provide a first class service - every time.

What happens if an item fails PAT testing?

The next course of action will depend on the reason for the item failing. Small repairs such as fuse replacements or loose wiring can be corrected on the spot, larger repairs will require further action.

How often should PAT Testing be carried out?

This varies depending on the workplace environment and the equipment to be tested. Contact us today and we will be happy to help you to select the correct time periods between tests.

Please view our Portable Appliance Testing page for more information.

When PAT Testing, do you test leads separately?

As a procedure yes we do, not to make extra money as some would have you believe but simply because we believe we need to, however the final decision is yours. I'll explain.

Firstly the code of practice for inspection and testing states that leads should be tested and labelled separately. The code of practice as we know is not a legal document but can be used in a court of law against the defendant if a case was brought to trial. It is your opinion or understanding of the code of practice which is important, as how you interpret the information is key to your decision.

Secondly, the leads get different tests to the equipment, this necessitates them being unplugged from the appliance. For example a test for an IEC lead would be Visual, Earth Bond, Insulation test and finally a polarity test. The test for a piece of IT equipment would be Visual, Earth Continuity test (soft test so as not to damage equipment), Insulation test and Earth Leakage test. The tests are quite different and you would not be able to enter results for both lead and appliance under one item.

Additionally the polarity test on the lead, which is an important test, requires both ends of the lead to be plugged into the tester so needs to be detached from the appliance, it would not be possible to carry out this test as part of the appliance.

The choice however is yours and we would be happy to test the lead as part of the appliance with no additional cost. The same tests as the appliance will be performed on the lead however this in many cases will only be a soft test designed specifically for IT equipment.

What is Fixed Wire/Installation Testing?

Fixed Installation Testing, also known as Periodic Inspection or Hard Wire Testing, is the testing of all electrical services and systems that conduct electricity around a building. This includes all parts of a distribution system, from the main incoming supply point, through to wiring accessories such as sockets and light fittings, and everything in between.

Please view our What is Fixed Wire Testing page for more information.

What is Emergency Lighting Testing?

Emergency Lighting is a necessary requirement in all premises where people are employed. It is a Life Safety System which is designed to assist in the evacuation of a building in an emergency situation and in the event of a power failure.

Please view our Emergency Lighting Testing page for more information.

Is Emergency Lighting Testing a legal requirement?

Emergency lighting is a legal requirement under The Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997 and 14(2)(h) of the Fire Safety Order.

Do I need to get my fire extinguishers serviced?

Yes, there is also a legal obligation for a competent person to annually service the fire extinguishers to the current BS standards. Workplaces must also carry out checks, at least monthly, to ensure all fire extinguishers are maintained in working order and in good repair between services.

What is Thermographic Imaging?

Thermal Imaging, also known as thermography, is the production of infrared or heat pictures which can pick up images which are often invisible to the naked eye. Potential problems are highlighted where there is an excess of heat being released by a component, which if left undetected can result in failure and in extreme cases fire.

Thermal Imaging can detect:

  • Loose connections
  • Overloads
  • Phase imbalances
  • Blocked or restricted cooling tubes in transformers
  • High resistance in fuses and switchgear

Please view our Thermographic Imaging page for more information.

Why are the benefits of Thermal Imaging?

The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 places a duty of care on employers to maintain electrical systems to prevent danger where otherwise it may exist. Thermal Imaging can be a valuable tool as it highlights any potential causes for concern without the need to isolate circuits. This allows corrective action to be taken before any costly system failures.

Why do I need to service my fire alarm system?

Fire Alarm testing is essential to ensure that the system is in full working order and is a requirement under BS5839 Part 1 2002. Failure to keep fire detection and alarm systems in good working order is a criminal offence.

Why do I need to change a fire alarm system that is only connected to the mains electrical supply?

It is a requirement under the Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations (1996) that all fire alarm warning systems are provided with a guaranteed emergency supply in the event of a power failure. This means that all fire alarm systems without battery back up are no longer legal.

Is the testing disruptive?

Not really, Each PC in the case of an office environment would need to be shut down for 5 to 10 minutes in turn for the testing to be carried out, generally the operator pops of for a cup of tea while the work is being done. Server rooms etc would need to be shut down to be tested, but the frequency of testing can be lengthened as they are deemed low risk environments.

If you'd prefer we could carry out the testing outside work hours (after 5pm Mon-Fri or all day Saturday) at no extra cost. The reason for this is that our engineers are much more productive without other people around and it is generally a preferred method by all involved.

What reports do we get?

A full report of the test results and all appropriate certificates in hard copy and as an Excel spreadsheet which can double up as an asset register.



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