PAT testing is the best way to ensure electrical safety in a building. Whether you are a landlord with a small domestic property which you rent out to a tenant, or you own a large building used by businesses for work, it is your responsibility to make sure all the electrical appliances within the building are safe to use.
Although PAT testing is not a legal requirement, you should hire a professional electrician to carry out PAT tests regularly. Safety regulations are in place to alleviate any potential electrical risks that could pose a danger to those in the building, and the best way to adhere to these safety regulations is to get your electrical equipment PAT tested. To help you understand the importance of PAT tests and the best way to carry out and record your tests, we created this expert guide.
What will I receive after a PAT test?
Once your PAT test has been completed, you will receive labels on all of your appliances and a test certificate. Portable appliance testers will label all of your appliances detailing whether or not they have passed the test, as well as the date that the test was performed.
These labels are extremely important as they indicate to users whether or not the portable equipment that they want to use is safe to use. Any type of appliance that has a red label on it has failed the test and should not be used as it poses safety risks. PAT testers also issue a PAT testing certificate. It is important that you keep all the testing certificates that you receive safe as you might need them in the future.
What is a PAT test certificate?
A PAT test certificate is a legal document that provides a record of the PAT tests that have been carried out to verify the electrical safety of portable electric appliances. This certificate is important, especially for business owners, to prove portable appliance maintenance.
The main things that every PAT test certificate includes are:
- Details of where the test has taken place (details regarding the building or house in which the appliances are).
- A record of all the portable electrical appliances that were tested.
- Whether or not the appliances passed or failed the test.
- Details of the person who performed the test (this might also include information about the company the electrician works for).
PAT testing certificates come in various forms, whilst some are simply hand written by the tester, today’s PAT test certificates are usually completed on the computer and sent to you as an email to add to your digital records.
Why do I need a PAT testing certificate?
Whenever you schedule electrical equipment testing, you should request a PAT testing certificate to make sure you have proof that the PAT test was performed. This is important because if you ever need to prove to the council or to tenants that you have been complying with the safety regulations in place, you can present them with a document detailing all the information regarding the testing of electrical equipment.
Having a PAT testing certificate also comes in handy if you are ever accused of having faulty or dangerous electric equipment. Showing your certificate will present you as a responsible person who has prioritised electrical maintenance, which will in turn keep you out of trouble and allow you to clear your name in any possible disputes or lawsuits.
How to get a PAT test certificate
You will automatically receive a PAT test certificate if you get your appliances professionally tested by a company or an electrician. PAT testers carry out visual inspections or more thorough inspections depending on the type of equipment or appliances you have in your home or building.
Once they have completed the entire building and have looked at all the electrical installations, they create a report and provide you with a PAT testing certificate. Whilst the aim is for all of the portable electrical appliances to pass their PAT test, that is not always the case. Testers will share advice on what to do if your appliances fail a PAT test.
Whilst PAT testing kits are available for individuals who feel confident enough to carry out the test themselves and who have prior electrical knowledge, completing the test yourself will not leave you with a PAT test certificate. This is why we highly recommend getting your PAT test completed by a professional.
How long is a PAT test certificate valid for?
A PAT test certificate does not necessarily have an expiration date. It is just a record of whether certain portable electrical appliances failed or passed a PAT test on a specific date. However, there are specific time periods within which you should retest your appliances. A test from 10 years ago declaring that an electrical equipment is in a safe condition will not help you today.
Below is a guide as to how often appliances should get tested:
- Fixed appliances: Not required
- Stationary appliances: Once a year
- IT appliances: Once a year
- Moveable appliance: Every 6 months
- Portable appliances: Every 6 months
- Cables and chargers: Every 6 months
- Hand-held appliances: Every 6 months
Although there is no expiration date on PAT test certificates, if you want them to have some form of validity, you should perform PAT tests at least once a year and obtain a new certificate every time in order to stay in line with the regulations and risk assessment guidelines.
PAT testing services
PAT testing must be carried out regularly in order to ensure you are keeping up to date with all the safety regulations in place. The best way to ensure you are meeting your obligations is to hire a professional electrician to perform a PAT test.
Legionella Risk and PAT testing has been voted the number one PAT testing company in Scotland, so you can be sure that our professionals will provide you with a thorough and intensive PAT test that can be trusted. We will assess all the non-fixed appliances that are present in any building under your supervision.
Our comprehensive PAT test includes the following:
- Inspection of plugs and wiring.
- Cable inspections and connection tests.
- Identifying continuity and testing it.
- Lead polarity checks.
- Insulation resistance tests and electric shock prevention.
Once we have completed the test, we will provide you with a certificate with all the relevant details on it, to prove that you have carried out a PAT test. We want to ensure that you have complete peace of mind that your building and your tenants are safe and that you are covered from any possible backlash if a problem were to occur.