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Popularly known as PAT, PAT Inspection or PAT Testing, portable appliance testing is the evaluation of electrical gadgets and appliances to ensure their safety.
When electrical appliances become faulty, some of the flaws can be detected through a visual examination but some faults can only be determined by testing.
In the United Kingdom, health and safety regulations require that electrical appliances are checked routinely. This process is formally known as in-service inspection and testing of electrical equipment.
Portable Appliance Testing involves visually inspecting how sound the insulation is between the parts of a gadget through which electricity flows and the metallic parts which are exposed to human touch.
Portable Appliance Testing Frequency
How often the test is carried out largely depends on the type of equipment and the environment in which it is being used. Heavy-duty equipment used on a regular basis, for example, needs to be tested more frequently than a microwave oven used for domestic purposes.
The required standards for the electrical testing vary depending on the type of electrical appliance you are testing.
Why Is PAT Testing Done?
It is obligation of the employer or manufacturer to ensure that all types of equipment handled by personnel are properly maintained. That is why many manufacturers recommend testing on a regular basis for continual safety.
Electricity can cause devastating workplace and domestic accidents, exposing personnel to electric shock, explosions, fires, and other hazards. These often occur due to bad equipment and installations, unsafe work environment, and poor performance.
Also, some types of equipment are more susceptible to damage than others. Handheld appliances that can be easily moved are often subjected to rough handling, and this can result in damage and failure. The health and safety regulations in the UK require that the visual examination of an appliance and the test be performed by a competent individual or expert using a PAT tester.
What does Portable Appliance Testing involve?
Testing involves inspecting the appliance and any flexible wires for safety, grounding (earthing) verification, and a test of the thickness of the insulation between the parts that carry currents and the exposed metal parts.
In an environment with minimal risks, you can detect the defects by simply checking the equipment for signs of malfunction, such as threadbare cables.
Visual inspection and testing are routinely done to identify hazards such as:
- Exposure to electrical conductors which may lead to an electrocution
- An upsurge in electrical voltage causing a fire
- Partial or intermittent connection leading to heat and possible ignition
Which appliances need to be tested?
According to the health and safety regulations in the United Kingdom, all electrical appliances and systems which use cables or plugs, as well as sockets, need to be PAT tested to avoid workplace and domestic hazards. These items can include PCs, microwave ovens, refrigerators, monitors, televisions, printers, and IT equipment.
If you are in Watford, Hemel Hempstead, St Albans, or any other other part of UK, you can find a certified PAT expert to help you test your home appliances and workplace equipment to ensure they are in optimal condition. We at Elsys Electrical provides local domestic & commercial customers with highly professional and fully certified Portable Appliance Testing & Inspection
Conforming to PAT requirements will help to ensure that the electrical equipment in your home and workplace is safe and legal.
The guidelines for testing will also ensure that your appliances are protected through periodic testing and maintenance. All electrical gadgets are prone to damage and faults which makes it important that these items are tested on a regular basis for safety.