PAT Testing London and surrounding areas. If you are a business owner or a landlord, you are responsible for maintaining the health and safety of a your premises and testing of electrical equipment, there is a great deal of responsibility involved. You will need to not only follow certain guidelines, there are clear legal requirements in place and with good reason. Not only are you responsible for the physical building but also the type of equipment in there, as a result of this you are responsible for the health and safety of those who live in, work at or visit the premises, whether they be tenants, customers, suppliers and even delivery men.
In order to ensure you do the absolute best to protect the safety of your assets and the people within the buildings, the electrics must be thoroughly and regularly tested, repaired and maintained and this is done via a range of tests and visual inspections, a key one of which is PAT Testing. These tests are very specific and while they can be conducted by a competent member of staff in certain low risk environments, it is much safer if they are completed by fully trained and qualified electrical engineers, such as Hexo Services.
If employing a staff member they would need to have the appropriate knowledge and training and the environment would have to be very low risk. They would need to have the correct technical equipment in order to complete the tests properly, the knowledge and experience of how to use this technical equipment appropriately and would also need to be able to properly interpret the test results given. As such, it is often much more advisable to employ the services of an expert company who will complete the service to the high standard required, thus ensuring a higher level of safety.
What is PAT Testing?
PAT Testing or Portable Appliance Testing (PAT test) is an essential part of any building’s maintenance and appliance inspection. It is done to verify the safety of every single appliance within the building that has any electrics in it whatsoever. The outcome of our visual inspections and PAT testing is to show that the electrical appliances are operational and in safe condition to use and will be for the foreseeable future.
There are certain categories of items that should be subjected to regular PAT Testing and these include:
- All handheld electrical appliances and test equipment
- All portable or movable equipment
- Any appliances which are stationary
- Fixed equipment or appliances
- Corded power tools
- IT equipment
- Extension leads
- Multi-way adaptors
- RCD extension leads and RCD adaptors
This could include individual items such as these:
- Vending machines
- Power tools such as electric drills
- Washing machines
- Vacuum cleaners
Why do you need to conduct Commercial PAT Testing?
A business has a duty of care to ensure its employees and any visitors to the premises will be as safe as possible. Furthermore, any business will also want to protect its assets such as the building, machinery and equipment within it and any stock or other items used to run the company. Faulty electrical wiring is responsible for a staggering number of accidents so maintaining the general well-being of all the electrical systems and appliances is crucial. Not only to protect the health of the people within the building and the physical items, but also to protect the business owner from liability. If an incident such as a fire happens and you cannot show a proper record of safety checks conducted, you may well be found liable in the event of injury or fire. Your business insurance may also be void if you are found to have neglected basic safety measures. Therefore, keeping on top of your electrical equipment is of the upmost importance.
Legally speaking, an employer must make sure that all the electrical items within their property are effectively maintained. While many devices can be visually examined, others will require thorough appliance testing, in order for their condition to be assessed. Aside from the legal obligations, there is of course a moral and ethical obligation to protect everyone too.
PAT testing for landlords- why do you need residential PAT testing?
If you are a landlord and you leave appliances in the property for the use of the tenants you are legally responsible for their maintenance. If a problem should occur such as a fire or a tenant gets a jolt from an item you may be held liable if you cannot prove that you have maintained these appliances.
Portable appliance testing is one way to show that you have regularly had the appliances checked over and maintained. At Hexo services we can carry out a visual inspection and comprehensive testing of all portable electrical and fixed appliances in a domestic situation.
Approval stickers will be affixed to the plug and an official PAT register will be produced.
What happens during PAT Testing?
During your PAT inspection and testing, we will make sure that all the portable electrical appliances in use at your commercial or business premises are safe.
During a PAT test, we will examine all of the portable electrical appliances within your premises, to ensure they are safe to use and fully comply with the current Electricity at Work Regulations.
PAT Testing comes under those Safe Practices that ensure compliance, legal obligations and offer legal protection in the case of potential claims. Insurance companies also require regular PAT and EICR testing record keeping, which we can assist with.
In order to conduct our thorough visual inspections and PAT Test, the first stage is a visual appraisal of the item being investigated. This will allow the appliance testers to determine the overall condition of the item and problems might be immediately obvious so faults and fire hazards can be avoided. If the visual condition looks acceptable, the next stage is to carry out the electrical tests which include:
- The earthing / grounding continuity
- The standard of insulation
- Main cord wiring
- Contact with exposed metal
In order to ensure these tests are completed as thoroughly as possible, the technician from Hexo Services will use only the very best PAT Testing equipment. There might be some appliances which do not require mains power and therefore the lack of mains connectivity will mean the tests conducted are a little more limited than those listed above. Regardless of the situation, it is usually the case that there is a basic pass or fail result given after user checks. However, when you use a more professional PAT Testing service, such as the one provided by Hexo Services, a great deal of additional information and data will be provided so the issue itself can be isolated and rectified, if possible. This will save time and money in the long run.
Depending on the type of equipment you own, and the environment in which it is used, the schedule for PAT testing will differ. For the most part, electrical items in low-risk environments, such as offices and hotels, should be looked at once a year, whereas higher risk premises, such as gyms and construction sites, will need PAT Testing carried out far more frequently. Business owners are encouraged to take a risk-based approach to such matters and there is currently no formal requirement as to the frequency of how often this type of testing should take place.
There are three classes of PAT Testing for electrical equipment:
- Class 1 includes appliances with basic insulation resistance that rely on earthing for protection. These include office PCs and photocopiers
- Class 2 appliances benefit from extra insulation and don’t solely rely on earthing for protection. These include the likes of lamps and television sets
- Class 3 items are low voltage and therefore safer. They include items such as cameras and laptops.
We can carry out expert-led PAT Testing at weekends and in the evenings, to prevent danger, disruption or business downtime. We can also arrange to test all appliances in one go, or schedule them in batches across a given time period. In this way we work to a schedule that keeps PAT testing costs low and make it work best for you and your business.
How does PAT Testing work?
When appliance tests for earth continuity, we will verify the connectivity between the earth pin (the protective element) and the exposed metal parts of the plug in Class 1 appliances. In order to check verify, the PAT testers will probe the exposed metal parts once the item is connected to the portable appliance testing machine and a current is passed through.
The current flows via the earth conductor and back to the PAT testers so the test results can show the resistance of this protective earth path.
When the portable appliance testing PAT starts insulation testing, again the appliance to be tested is connected to the PAT testers. The mains plug sockets will then receive a test voltage of 500v DC and if all is well, will result in a high resistance reading shown on the PAT tester’s screen. This will show high insulation, as desired. If there is a low level of insulation between the live parts and earth, this will also be shown and will be evident because the current flows via the protective earth conductor.
To measure the predictive conductor current, the PAT tester will connect to the appliance. The energising of the appliance will mean that current flows from the mains and goes via the neutral and live conductors that should both be neutral. If there is any kind of imbalance, this will need to be addressed.
What are the expectations for PAT Testing in the workplace dependent on industry?
Whilst not a legal responsibility or requirement as such, in order to keep your workplace as safe as possible, it is advisable to follow certain recommendations, so you maintain due diligence over this extremely important area. The expectations per industry are laid out below:
Offices, shops and hotels – All Class 1 test equipment should be tested every two years. This includes stationery and IT equipment. Anything movable such as extension leads or any other portable equipment should be tested at least every 24 months. Any type of handheld equipment should be tested every 12 months as a minimum.
Public use equipment – Any moveable, portable or handheld equipment within the Class 1 category should be tested every 6 months as a minimum. Stationery and IT equipment (eg computers) should be tested every 12 months and any Class 2 category movable, portable or handheld equipment should also be tested every 12 months.
Schools – Any test equipment falling within the Class 1 category should be PAT tested every 12 months in schools as an absolute minimum. All Class 2 type equipment should be tested at least every 48 months.
Construction – Any test equipment used on building sites of 110V should be tested every 3 months as a minimum.
Industrial – Any type of industrial site (even including commercial kitchens) should have all their portable and handheld equipment tested every 6 months. Furthermore, IT equipment, stationery equipment or anything else movable should be tested every 12 months.
Why choose Hexo Services for your PAT Testing?
Our expert engineers have an unmatched understanding of how to find safety defects during visual inspections, using the latest electrical testing equipment and accessories manufactured by Megger® and taking all necessary precautions.
We offer PAT services across London and the South East, including:
- Visual inspection and testing for portable appliance testing: we will look at all portable appliances, including flex and plug tops
- Fuse and connection inspections: a thorough examination of the wiring within every plug
- Electrical applicance testing: each appliance will be submitted to a series of electrical tests to ensure that it is properly earthed (Earth Continuity Test, Class 1 appliance) and insulated (Insulation Resistance Test, Class 1 and 2 electrical appliances)
- Labelling: we will affix a label to all electrical appliances, indicating whether it has passed or failed, as well as additional information including the test date, re-test date and the Appliance ID number assigned to it
- Records: we will provide a detailed record for each appliance tested, as well as an inventory summary. These records will also be available in an electronic format
When you have your electrical inspection and appliance testing done by Hexo Services, you can expect all of the following and more:
Experienced Electrical Inspectors
- Fully trained and qualified, with years of user experience
- Helping you achieve electrical compliance for your business
- Minimising disruption and downtime
Fast Electronic Certification
- Reports are provided quickly in electronic format
- Expert explanation and assistance available
- Suitable for insurance and compliance purposes
- We hold £5,000,000 public liability insurance
- All our inspectors and engineers are DBS checked
- Health and Safety compliant with regular user checks
Fixed Price Services
- Fixed price quotations for all of our services
- No more unexpected cost over runs
- Easy quoting and ordering process
Complete Electrical Compliance
- Electrical Condition Reporting
- Emergency Lighting Testing
- PAT Testing
- Follows Government Guidelines
- Out of hours and weekends to minimise disruption
- Reminders when your visual inspection and testing is due
- Helpful advice available always
We are the experts in all types of electrical appliance testing, including portable appliance testing for commercial and residential premises. We always deliver a high-quality service we can be proud of and will aim to keep your tenants and workers as safe as possible at all times and ensure you comply with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Work Regulations 1989. We work flexibly to ensure our service works for you and there will be minimum disruption.