Home Health & Safety PAT testing – everything you need to know

PAT testing – everything you need to know

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Detail shot of electrician testing voltage on a fuse box on construction site.

PAT testing is very important for a wide variety of properties. A PAT test is a great way of making sure all of the electrical equipment your staff or tenants are using is safe and fit for use. Without PAT testing, you could be putting the safety of people at risk. So, what is PAT testing and why should you book a PAT test as soon as possible?

What is PAT testing?

A PAT test is a routine inspection on some types of electrical equipment that lets you know whether they are safe to use. PAT stands for Portable Appliance Test. In an office, this equipment could be kettles, fridges, PCs, monitors and printers, for example. Things like microwaves and TVs also need to be PAT tested, but not as frequently.

A PAT test starts a visual inspection of the equipment. This is to check for any noticeable damage that could make the equipment dangerous to use. The test also includes insulation resistance, earth continuity and lead polarity checks. Basically, a PAT test is checking whether all of the equipment in a property is wired correctly and has no signs of damage on the casing, wires or plug that could result in a fire or an electrical short.

Is PAT testing a legal requirement?

PAT testing is not a legal requirement. It is simply one method used to check electrical equipment in a workplace or rental home. However, the owner of the property or the business is legally required to ensure that all electrical equipment is in a safe condition to be used. There are legal requirements for electrical standards, and PAT testing is a good way of ensuring that your electrical equipment meets these standards.

How often is PAT testing done?

Smaller appliances like kettles, for example, should be PAT tested every two years. Larger appliances like fridges and washing machines should be checked at least every four years. Most people, though, typically get everything checked at once.

How long does PAT testing take?

An experienced PAT engineer can test about 300 items per day. On average, a PAT test takes about one hour. This does depend on how many electrical appliances you have, of course. To speed things up, though, you can make all electrical appliances easy to access for the PAT engineer conducting the test.

Can I PAT test my own equipment?

You can PAT test without a qualification. Guidance state that if you are competent at testing electrics, you can do a PAT test. However, The Portable Appliance Testing Trade Association does say that to become competent, you need to be thoroughly trained by competent people. So, basically, while there is nothing stopping you from PAT testing your appliances yourself, you should always use a qualified PAT engineer.

Do landlords need to PAT test tenant’s electrical equipment?

No, landlords are not required to PAT test any of their tenant’s electrical equipment. It is best practice for landlords to ensure the electrical system in a rental property is safe. Plus, any appliances that a landlord supplies to a tenant must be safe too. So, for example, if your rental property has a washing machine in it that you’ve supplied, it should be checked for safety.

Why PAT testing is important

Whether you are a landlord or you own a business, it is your responsibility to keep your tenants or staff safe. PAT testing is a brilliant way of ensuring that everyone in your business or rental property is safe. We hope this look at PAT testing has helped you understand why PAT testing is important for businesses and landlords alike. Please explore our website further for more about PAT testing and other vital services for businesses and landlords.

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