If you own a company, it is important to maintain your emergency lighting as well as fire alarms. To protect your staff and reduce liability, it is an obligation that must be met. By maintaining these systems, you will prevent possible disasters and save more money overall. That is why it is important to rely on an electrical provider that offers testing of fire alarms, drills, and emergency lights. You want to make sure that the same provider provides yearly portable appliance testing (PAT) too.
The Importance of PAT Assessments
PAT itself is an acronym that is used to describe the assessment of electrical equipment and appliances. Most electrical flaws can be detected by a visual examination. However, some defects can only be discovered by using testing measures. Alternatively, it is also important to understand the visual aspect of portable appliance testing as certain defects cannot be detected solely by testing measures alone.
According to legislation such as the 1989 Electricity at Work Regulations, electrical equipment that may cause injury should be maintained in a safe and operable condition. However, these regulations do not signify what needs to be done. Therefore, the Regulations do not specifically state that PAT must be performed annually.
Determining Testing Times
Nevertheless, you need to have PAT examinations at least each year to keep everything safe and secure. The frequency of an inspection depends on the equipment type and how often it is used. For instance, a tool that is used in construction should be assessed more often than the lighting in a hotel bedroom.
Whilst the law says that you must check your electrical equipment and maintain its safety, it does not go any further with this stipulation. Therefore, any electrical repairs in Birmingham must be based on your own assessment for maintenance. When making this evaluation, you need to do the following:
- Determine what type of risk you will face if the electrical equipment is used improperly, is not suitable for the task, or is used in harsh environmental surroundings.
- Check to see if the equipment is double insulated or earthed.
In the workplace, you are faced with a joint responsibility of making sure that the equipment is tested if your employees use it and it is supplied by you. In some instances, you as a user can visually check an electrical item.
For example, you may want to check for loose cables or any sign of damage. Checking an inside plug for damage or bare wires is also helpful. In these instances, you may not have to have a PAT assessment. Other types of equipment, such as kettles or floor cleaners, may need to have PAT on a routine basis.
In any case, it is still better to play it safe than sorry. Make sure that you make an electrical safety audit, either visually or by scheduling a PAT, on a regular basis.