Portable Appliance Testing or PAT testing refers to the Code of Practice for In-service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment.
PAT testing is the routine inspection and testing of electrical equipment to determine whether it is safe for continued use or if maintenance, repair or replacement is necessary. Its purpose is to prevent electrical accidents and has been an established practice in the workplace since the introduction of the Electricity at Work Regulations back in 1989.
Electrical equipment supplied as part of a tenancy is also covered by the Regulations and must be PAT tested periodically as well as each time a new tenancy is arranged. This requirement applies to housing, holiday lets and other short-term property rentals.
Privately owned domestic properties are covered by the Regulations when there is an ‘at work’ activity ongoing, such as a company undertaking the cleaning of a domestic property. This may also apply to a hairdresser, gardener or care worker for example; coming into the property and using electrical equipment to perform a work activity.
All equipment used for a work activity must be PAT tested.
Equipment covered in the Code of practice includes, but is not limited to:
Mobile equipment, such as desk lights, toasters and fan heaters.
Stationary equipment, such as workshop equipment (for example, welders, bench grinders and mills), IT racks and server bays and vending machines.
Fixed equipment, such as lighting, hand-dryers, boilers, alarm or security panels, two-part air-conditioning units, electric towel rails and fixed audio-visual (AV) equipment such as monitors or projectors.
Hand-held equipment, such as hairdryers, floor polishers and power tools.
Electric vehicle charging equipment.
IT equipment, such as laptop power supplies, monitors, computers and printers.
Extension leads, RCD extension leads, multiway adaptors, RCD adaptors and electric vehicle charging leads.
Built-in appliances or equipment, such as dishwashers and refrigerators.
Electric heating equipment (for example, storage heaters, immersion heaters etc.)
Electrical installations in office furniture and similar.