PAT testing

Short for Portable Appliance Testing, PAT testing is the procedure that is conducted to regularly assess the safety of electrical appliances. It is also referred to as “in-service inspection and testing of electrical equipment,” the formal term for this process.

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During the testing process, various aspects of the equipment are examined. This includes conducting a visual inspection to assess the overall condition of the appliance and its flexible cables. In some cases, the earthing continuity is verified, and insulation between the current-carrying parts and any accessible metal is tested for soundness. It’s important to note that the specific pass/fail criteria for these electrical tests may vary depending on the category of equipment under examination.

Our engineers are equipped with high-quality testing equipment and possess the expertise to effectively operate it, ensuring accurate and reliable PAT testing. They meticulously record and certify the test results, maintaining detailed equipment lists and providing necessary certifications to meet regulatory requirements.

PAT testing is not a specific legal requirement, but the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 necessitate that electrical equipment posing potential hazards must be maintained in a safe condition. While the law does not specify the method or frequency of maintenance, employers are expected to adopt a risk-based approach considering the type and usage of equipment.

Failing to meet legal obligations on electrical appliance safety can lead to severe penalties, including imprisonment for up to 2 years and unlimited financial fines, depending on the seriousness of the non-compliance.

Which Portable Appliances Require Testing?

Our knowledgeable Initial Fire engineers can guide you in identifying which of your appliances require testing. All our work is conducted in compliance with the IEE code of Practice for ‘In-service inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment,’ ensuring that you fulfill your legal obligations.

Portable appliances, such as computers, printers, toasters, fridges, kettles, photocopiers, fax machines, fans, and lamps, which require a plug to be connected to an electrical mains socket, fall within the scope of testing. Additionally, fixed equipment connected to the ring main via a spur, including air conditioning units, heated towel rails, water heaters, and wall-mounted convector heaters, should also be considered for testing.

How often does PAT testing need to be done?

The frequency of PAT testing varies depending on the type of equipment and its usage environment. It is important to consider factors such as the nature of the equipment and the level of risk associated with its use. For instance, a power tool utilized on a construction site may require more frequent inspection and testing compared to a lamp in a hotel room.

To determine the suggested frequencies of inspection and testing, it is advisable to refer to relevant guidelines and regulations. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) provides guidance on recommended frequencies in their publication “Maintaining portable and transportable electrical equipment” (HSG107). You can find detailed information on suggested testing intervals by visiting their website at It is essential to follow these guidelines to ensure the safety and compliance of your electrical equipment.

Achieve total safety compliance

Enhance safety with our comprehensive solutions. While PAT testing is crucial, it complements reliable fire alarms and extinguishers. From advanced fire alarms to diverse extinguishers, we have you covered. Our experts provide top-level protection, ensuring peace of mind.

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Our experts provide tailored advice on PAT testing, ensuring compliance with regulations and creating a safe environment. Trust us for all your Portable Appliance Testing needs.

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