PAT Testing Explained

Periodic testing and inspection of fixed electrical installations is a legal requirement.

Under the Health and Safety at Work Act, all businesses must ensure that the environment is safe for the health and safety of employees, visitors and the general public. Electrical installations must be maintained in a safe condition and evidence of periodic testing may be required by your insurance company, landlord, mortgage loan company, business partner or public body. Business owners must be able to prove that they have taken all reasonably practicable steps to ensure that electrical installations are safe, and periodic testing is one way of proving that you have taken your responsibilities seriously.

Testing is also necessary for a number of practical reasons:

  • Identification of damage from wear and tear
  • Checking for corrosion
  • Monitoring for excessive electrical loading
  • Checking for damage from environmental influences and ageing materials
  • As a control measure against electric shock during cleaning and maintenance work at business premises
  • As a control measure against fire risk at business premises

Periodic testing and inspection is necessary to assess compliance with current IEE electricity wiring regulations. If you are the new owner or tenant of your business premises, it is wise to have the installation checked to ensure compliance. Change of use of premises, or following alterations to an original installation, electrical safety testing becomes essential. Testing is also important if you make a significant change to the electrical loading of an installation, or if there is any suspicion of damage to the installation. Neglect of faulty electrical apparatus can cause injuries to staff, customers and visitors. It also significantly increases fire risk. In the event of an accident, incident or fire, you could incur lost income, hefty fines and even imprisonment if your business is found to be in breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act. Your insurance may also be invalidated.

Minimum inspection intervals apply to most installations:

  • Commercial Installations - 5 years
  • Industrial Installations - 3 years
  • Buildings open to the public - 1 year
  • External Installations - 3 year.
  • Caravan Parks - 1 year
  • Fire Alarms - 1 year
  • Short term and site Installations - 3 months

Contact us today for a free quotation on 01628 850650 to arrange the Periodic Inspection & Testing of your electrical system, to make sure your installation meets the current electrical regulations.