Frequently Asked Questions:

What is Pat testing?
Pat testing is the process of periodically inspecting and testing electrical appliances, carried out by trained personnel using specialist equipment to ensure electrical equipment is safe for continued use. Meaning of “Pat testing” Pat is an abbreviation for “Portable Appliance Testing”, though all electrical appliances should be inspected and tested e.g. washing machines, photocopiers and not just hand held portable items. The correct term is ‘In-Service Inspection & Testing of Electrical Equipment.

WHAT IS PAT/FAT TESTING?
PAT TESTING IS THE PROCESS OF PERIODICALLY INSPECTING AND TESTING ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES, PERFORMED BY TRAINED PERSONNEL USING SPECIALIST EQUIPMENT TO ENSURE THE TESTED APPLIANCE IS SAFE FOR AND SUITABLE FOR CONTINUED USE AND TO COMPLY WITH THE VARIOUS HEALTH AND SAFETY REGULATIONS.

WHAT NEEDS TO BE TESTED?
P.A.T. STANDS FOR ‘PORTABLE APPLIANCE TESTING’ THOUGH ALL ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES FROM A LOW VOLTAGE MAINS  OPERATED CALCULATOR RIGHT THROUGH TO WASHING MACHINES, VENDING MACHINES AND PHOTOCOPIERS, ANYTHING FROM LOW VOLTAGE TO 110V, 240V AND 415V EQUIPMENT ALL SHOULD BE INSPECTED AND TESTED, NOT JUST PORTABLE APPLIANCES. IF IT HAS A PLUG IT NEEDS TESTING.
F.A.T. TESTING IS MUCH THE SAME AS P.A.T. TESTING EXCEPT THE THINGS YOU TEST ARE FIXED INTO THE MAINS ELECTRIC SUPPLY WITHOUT A STANDARD PLUG. THEY SHOULD BE FITTED VIA  A ‘SPUR’ (SEE FIG 1). IN ORDER TO FULLY TEST FAT ITEMS THEY MUST   BE CONNECTED VIA A ‘SPUR‘ AND HAVE THE ABILITY TO BE ISOLATED FROM THE MAINS ELECTRIC SUPPLY VIA THE MAIN CIRCUIT BOARD.

SO WHY PAT/FAT TEST?
PAT/FAT TESTING IS WIDLEY RECOGNISED AS THE ACCEPTED METHOD OF HELPING YOU TO COMPLY WITH THE VARIOUS HEALTH AND SAFETY REGULATIONS INCLUDING:-
HEALTH AND SAFETY AT WORK ACT 1974.
MANAGEMENT OF HEALTH AND SAFETY AT WORK REGULATIONS 1999.
PROVISION AND USE OF WORK EQUIPMENT REGULATIONS 1998.
ELECTRICITY AT WORK REGULATIONS 1989.
WORKPLACE (HEALTH, SAFETY AND WELFARE ) REGULATIONS 1992.

THE ABOVE REGULATIONS REQUIRE EVERY BUSINESS ( INCLUDING LANDLORDS AND SELF-EMPLOYED) TO ASSES AND MANAGE ALL OF THEIR ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES. THIS INCLUDES CARRYING OUT APPROPRIATE INSPECTING AND TESTING OF APPLIANCES AT REGULAR INTERVALS BY A COMPETANTLEY  TRAINED PERSON.

BY PAT/FAT TESTING YOU NOT ONLY COMPLY WITH THE ABOVE REGULATIONS BUT YOU ARE ALSO MINIMIZING RISK OF ACCIDENTS, INJURIES OR EVEN DEATH TO YOU AND YOUR STAFF AND GENERAL PUBLIC. YOU ARE ALSO MINIMIZING COSTLY RISK OF DAMAGE TO YOUR EQUIPMENT AND PROPERTY. POORLEY MAINTAINED ELECRICAL APPLIANCES CAN LEAD TO OVERHEATING AND MAY CAUSE A FIRE. IF YOU ARE FOUND NOT TO OF TESTED YOUR EQUIPMENT IT MAY INVALIDATE ANY INSURANCE YOUR COMPANY HOLDS.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD PAT/FAT BE CARRIED OUT?
THE FREQUENCY OF TESTING DEPENDS ON MANY FACTORS INCLUDING:-
ENVIROMENT IN WHICH THE APPLIANCE IS BEING USED.
FREQUENCY OF USE AND MOVEMENT OF APPLIENCE.
CONSTRUCTION AND TYPE OF EQUIPMENT.

A ROUGH GUIDE IN KEEPING WITH  I.E.T.  GUIDELINES FOR INSPECTING AND TESTING WOULD BE :-
OFFICES, HOTELS, SHOPS, ETC NORMALLY EVERY 12 - 24 MONTHS.
HARSHER ENVIROMENTS LIKE WORKSHOPS, FACTORIES AND CONSTRUCTION SITES EVERY 3-12 MONTHS.
WE WILL BE HAPPY TO CARRY OUT A SITE SURVEY AND WORK OUT A SCHEDULE OF TESTING UNIQUE TO YOUR NEEDS.

WHAT IS THE MICROWAVE LEAKAGE TEST?
IN ADDITION TO PAT TESTING A MICROWAVE WE ALSO TEST THAT IT IS NOT LEAKING MICROWAVES INTO THE ENVIROMENT.  THIS CAN BE VERY DANGEROUS AND IF LEFT UNOTICED CAN CAUSE BURNS, HEADACHES OR CATARACTS.

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