Electrical appliances are the cause of many injuries because they have the potential to cause electrical shock or fire hazards, which is why it is crucial that electrical appliances regularly undergo testing. In the UK approximately five deaths and more than 500 injuries (annually) are the result of defective electrical installations, most of which have not abided electrical appliances testing regulations. However, testing of electrical appliances is guaranteed to identify any electrical faults, thus, maximising security and preventing danger of electrical appliances at home and at work. Testing of electrical appliances is typically referred to as “Portable Appliance Testing (PAT)”
It is at the homeowner’s discretion whether or not they want to undergo testing of their electrical appliances. On the other hand, it is compulsory of the Health and Safety At Work Regulations that electrical appliances in the workplace obey the requirements of The Electricity At Work Regulations 1989.
Electrical appliances testing should only be carried out by a professional for the following reasons:
• Time consumption – professionals are able to carry out the procedure of electrical appliances testing far quicker than a non-professional because there are many electrical appliances that would need testing, for example, PCs, telephones, printers, kettles etc.
• Peace of mind during testing – Employing a professional to do electrical appliances testing ensure accuracy of results, reducing the risk of hazards and injuries.
• Legal protection – In the event of an insurance claim testing of an electrical appliance is extremely beneficial because it is proof that electrical testing has been conducted, complying with health and safety regulations.
It is a requirement of landlords to provide safe appliances which is why it is recommended to complete electrical appliances testing each time there is a change of tenant/s. As a tenant, be aware that your landlord is responsible for PAT testing in the property.
The frequency of testing electrical appliances depends on the amount of usage of the appliances. A high risk environment would include a construction site or hairdressers because electrical appliances are constantly in use, whereas a domestic residence would have a much lower risk.