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PAT Testing Explained
What Does PAT Testing Involve?
PAT or portable appliance testing is a policy in the UK in which safety checks are routinely performed on electrical appliances. Essentially, this is a common sense safety regulation to ensure that any people, employees, or tenants who may come into contact with portable electrical appliances are not at risk of injury.
The Portable Appliance Testing rules are detailed in the 1989 Electricity at Work Regulations, that: “All [electrical] systems shall at all times be of such construction as to prevent, so far as reasonably practical, such danger.” Thus, it only makes sense to have any organization perform testing on appliances on a consistent basis.
For all types of organizations, from a small office to a large corporation an outside testing company is the best course of action, Integrated Compliance can provide competent and certified PAT Testing professionals who are best suited and able to observe the appliances and look for an obvious signs of wear.
Although the law does not specifically state how often PAT Testing should be performed, it is reasonable to at least do an observational check yearly. This includes checking for frayed wires, ensuring the casing around the appliance has no damaged or is coming undone, as well as checking plugs for cracks or damaged. From there, our PAT Testing professional will be able to recommend the next course of action, repair the appliance if possible, or provide guidance on the next steps for the ensuring all appliances are safe.
Our qualified PAT Testing specialist will be able to perform tests and checks on a variety of appliances using calibrated equipment that will be able to show if the appliance has passed or failed including earth continuity, lead polarity, and insulation resistance, among others. This is a relatively quick and easy process, generally showing if the appliance passed or failed and it should not take very long to determine how safe your portable appliances are. On completion of the appliance test, it will be labelled with a safety sticker with a barcode for ease of tracking in the future.
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Is the landlord able to access a property for safety checks?
The contract you make with your tenant should allow you access for any maintenance or safety check work that needs to be done. You must not use force to enter the property. Further information is provided in regulation 39 of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.
A landlord has to show that they took all reasonable steps to comply with the law. HSE recommends the following actions and strongly advises that a record be kept of all correspondence with the tenants:
- Leave the tenant a notice stating that an attempt was made to complete the gas safety check and provide your contact details.
- Write to the tenant explaining that a safety check is a legal requirement and that it is for the tenant’s own safety. Give the tenant the opportunity to arrange their own appointment.
HSE inspectors will look for repeated attempts to complete the gas safety check, including the above suggestions; however the approach will need to be appropriate to each circumstance. It would ultimately be for a court to decide if the action taken was reasonable depending upon the individual circumstances.find out more