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What is a Portable Appliance?

A portable electrical appliance is an item of equipment which is not part of a fixed installation but is, or is intended to be, connected to a fixed installation, or a generator, by means of a flexible cable and a plug and socket. In layman's terms this means that any item with a plug is Portable Appliance. This would include kettles, Microwaves, PCs, printers, monitors, extension leads and even some large items such as vending machines, fridges and photocopiers.

Who does this apply to?

The Electricity at Work Regulations (1989) placed a Legal responsibility on employers, suppliers and hirers etc to take reasonable steps to ensure that no danger results from the use of electrical equipment. This means all Portable Appliances at your place of work have to be regularly tested to ensure they are safe.

Do we have to unplug the equipment to have it tested?

Yes. In order to electrically test the equipment it needs to be disconnected from the mains and plugged into a testing device.

Are there any implications for our I.T equipment?

The test equipment that PAT-TEK uses has been adopted to ensure that no damage can be done to equipment during the test process.

What about servers and other equipment that can't be turned off?

In environments where it is not possible to turn equipment on and off, such as servers, it is possible for a visual inspection to be carried out.

How long does it take?

Obviously this will depend on the number of appliances in your building and how easily accessible they are. A normal workstation with a computer, printer and extension lead would typically take around 10 minutes to test and reconnect.

When can the testing be carried out?

We operate 24 hours a day, Monday to Saturday and out of hours testing is carried out at no extra charge.

How are the tests recorded?

All appliances that are tested will be given a unique identification. This will be in the form of an adhesive label indicating an asset number and date tested. We then provide a list of the appliances tested, normally sent to you via email in pdf format. A copy can be posted to you on request.

What happens if an item fails?

Most failures are found during the initial visual check (i.e. a cracked plug, damaged casing or a tear in the cable). Some of these can be repaired during the course of testing free of charge, however other failures that cannot be fixed will have the fuse removed (if possible) and be taken out of service to eliminate danger to your staff.

Do Microwaves need special tests?

Yes, microwave emissions testing will be carried out by our engineers at no extra charge.