Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) - FAQs
Published: 14 May 2019
PAT - Portable Appliance Testing FAQs
Don't you find the more you read the more common myths exist regarding Portable Appliance Testing (PAT)?
Here at Daton Electrical Services we thought it would be useful to provide you with the necessary information.
What is Portable Appliance Testing?
It is the term used to examine electrical appliances and equipment to ensure they are safe for use.
Do I really need an electrician to do this?
In some low risk environments a sensible (competent) person can undertake visual inspections however, the testing will need a good level of knowledge and experience. The person will also need to ensure they have the correct equipment, the ability to use the test equipment and understand the test results.
Do I need to label appliances tested and keep records?
Whilst there is no legal requirement to label equipment that has been tested, it is a good idea to be able to demonstrate that you have tested the safety of such appliances and kept a record in case of inspection or incident.
It is law that my portable electrical appliances must be tested every year?
No but it is strongly advisable. The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 requires that any electrical equipment that has the potential to cause injury is maintained in a safe condition, so if not completing regular testing, how can you be sure you're mitigating your liability of incident?
What about new equipment - should this be tested?
New equipment should be provided in a safe condition and not require a formal PAT test or inspection. However, a simple visual check would be highly recommended to ensure the item has no damage.
I am a letting agent so my landlords are responsible for PAT testing?
That may be so but have you wondered what will happen if a portable appliance is faulty and injury is caused to your tenant and damage is caused to the property? Have you as the agent ensured damage limitation by getting any PAT testing completed for peace of mind? Having a PAT test completed is part of being a responsible landlord/agent. There are case studies of portable appliacnes causing house fires.
I am a trade, I only have my tools. It's not important to me.
It is strongly recommended that equipment is tested and inspected regularly. You can bring your tools to us or we can come to you and complete the testing in a fairly short time frame so you don't waste time but have peace of mind your tools are safe for use.
Is PAT testing compulsory?
No, the law is that electrical equipment should be maintained in order to prevent danger or injury. A PAT test is your way of having that proof of safety.