PAT Testing Costs Since 1974 the testing of electrical goods and appliances has been mandatory in businesses, residential rentals and institutions, as set down in the Health and Safety Work Act, 1974. There are a number of general precautions for Landlords and employers to avoid electrical accidents. These include ensuring that there is an accessible means of cutting off power in an emergency, whether a switch for fixed machines or a nearby socket for portable equipment; making sure that the plugs are not overloaded, avoiding double adaptors and ‘piggy-back’ plugs; putting the correct wattage in light fixtures; replacing worn and frayed cables and checking length and location to avoid damage and adequate equipment ventilation. Moreover, some form of risk assessment is obligatory and landlords and employers are obliged to identify potential hazards, determining precautions and reducing possible risks.
However, these guidelines are not enough in and of themselves. Some form of testing is also required in order to ensure that all appliances and work equipment is ‘maintained in an efficient state [...] and in good repair’, (Provisions and Use of Work Equipment Regulations, 1998). Portable Appliance Testing, also referred to as PAT Testing, is mandatory for all equipment that is ‘electrically connected to a common source of electrical energy’ in order to ‘prevent danger’, (Electricity at Work Regulations, 1989). Although the PAT Testing costs can be quite high if there are a large number of appliances to be inspected, given the high rates of electrical accidents in Britain, 25% of which come from portable appliances with approximately 30 fatalities each year, PAT Testing costs cannot be viewed as anything but vitally necessary, and should be budgeted for accordingly. Moreover, B.L.C. Property Services PAT Testing costs are extremely low, starting at £39.00 plus VAT, and conducted by highly experienced operatives.
For those who want more detailed information concerning PAT Testing, there are a number of books and articles published providing detailed information. In particular the Health and Safety Executive provides various articles including Electrical Safety and You, Maintaining Portable Electronic Equipment in Offices, and Maintaining Portable Electrical Equipment in Hotels. There is also the book Code of Practice for In-service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment, which provides that basic guidelines for PAT Testing in the UK and can help one calculate the probable PAT Testing costs for a business or residential letting.
These PAT Testing costs generally cover In-Service testing, which includes a preliminary or visual inspection, earth-continuity costs (for Class 1 appliances), insulation testing and functional checks for all portable appliances under 18 kilos, IT equipment and stationary or fixed ‘white goods’ which might exceed 18 kilos. However, at Eagle Property Solutions, they also include the replacement of fuses and faulty plugs as well as the PAT labels which make the mandatory record keeping easier, see Regulation 29, Electricity at Work Regulations, 1989. These labels are applied to each piece of equipment and have a unique Identification code as well as showing the status of the item, whether it has passed or failed the inspection. The labels also have the date of the test and the date of the re-test.