Portable Appliance Testing is not specific only to commercial businesses and home owners; there is a need for PAT Testing for offices as well. Most offices have electrical equipments and the staffs make use of it regularly. With regular use, there is sure to be wear and tear making the electrical equipment unsafe and may cause personal injury or result in fire in the workplace leading to death. The aim of the portable appliance testing is to prevent electrical injury in the office and this injury relates to electric burn, shock and electrical fires.
Inspecting and testing equipment used in 3 actions:
- User checks
- Visual inspections done formally by a competent person appointed or competent contractor
- Inspection and tests done in combination by a competent appointed person or a competent contractor
Faults of electrical equipment can be visually detected. An office should implement PAT Testing as a procedure and this should include formal visual checks and also electrical testing to be done using a PAT testing meter.
PAT testing must be done at regular intervals. The equipments should be labeled with the test date done and the due date for retest. Checking visually an equipment ensures the equipment is in good condition or not and these checks are applicable to checking of sockets and extension leads.
Visual inspections done formally
Office equipments require documented and formal visual inspections. The visual inspections done formally by a competent, internal person or even by competent contractors as the PAT testing program are effective.
Inspection and tests done in combination
The User checks as well as the visual inspections that are done formally reveal potential faults when it is performed properly. They bring out the problems of terminals and deteriorating cables that weaken with frequent use. This cannot be apparent to the naked eye.
Testing done in combination with visual inspection is a reliable way of noticing faults such as loss of earth, contamination of external and internal surfaces or deteriorating insulation. A combined inspection and testing includes a visual formal inspection followed by electrical tests done with the help of a PAT Testing meter that is commonly referred as PAT Tester.
Procedure of appliance testing
- Client Liaison: Pat testing technicians will contact the responsible person in the testing premises and will liaise in respect to the testing matters to be done, time of testing and also advise about appliances failing the testing.
- Testing Procedure: The testing is done on all the equipments or appliances connected to the power supply or by a plug for its damage or flexing. This testing includes testing all the hand-held appliances, portable appliances, extension leads, IT equipments, stationary appliances or equipments and commercial kitchen appliances.
- The plug and flex are inspected to ensure it does not have cuts, heating sings, fraying or inner core stress signs.
- The appliances are inspected to ascertain safe condition and this includes ascertaining switches of and off perfectly, the cabinet or casing has no damage such that the live parts come into touch, the ventilation areas and other parts in the appliances are in good working condition.