Portable Appliance Testing and Service & Maintenance.
With over 20 years experience in the industry, our engineers can provide a fully comprehensive site maintenance programme covering fire alarms, fire extinguishers, emergency lighting, CCTV etc. We can also offer a full site P.A.T. (portable appliance testing) service with full certification issued on completion. All this coupled together, brings you, the customer, ultimate peace of mind.
WHY PAT TESTING...?
Portable Appliance Testing is an essential aspect of your company’s health & safety policy.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) claims that nearly 2000 fires in one year were caused by faulty leads to appliances. Around 1000 electrical accidents at work are reported to HSE each year and about 30 people die of their injuries. Therefore the importance of regular electrical safety testing cannot be emphasised enough.
As a business, you are required by law to protect all users of portable appliances from electrical shock as
well as fire hazards. PAT Testing should be carried out to protect your employees, customers and you against accidents and liability.
It should be carried out regularly by your business in accordance with guidelines stated in the IEE Code of Practice.
HSE employs Electrical Inspectors with the aim of reducing the number of electrical accidents by enforcing the Law, providing advice on good working practices, and developing guidance in response to technical changes in equipment and working methods.
Regular PAT testing of your companies electrical equipment will help you to identify faulty items and protect you against liability for electrical accidents in the work place.
For more information and statistics about electrical safety at work, visit the HSE website at www.hse.gov.uk/electricity.
Firstly, the code of practice for inspection and testing states that leads should be tested and labelled separately.
Secondly, the leads get different tests to the equipment this necessitates them being unplugged from the appliance. For example, a test for an IEC lead would be Visual, Earth Bond at 25Amps, Insulation tests and finally a polarity test.
The test for a piece of IT equipment would be Visual, Earth Continuity test at 100mA (soft test so as not to damage equipment), and Earth Leakage test (Insulation test too harsh for IT).
The tests are quite different and you would not be able to enter results for both lead and appliance under one item. Additionally, the polarity test on the lead, which is an important test, requires both ends of the lead to be plugged into the tester so needs to be detached from the appliance; it would not be possible to carry out this test as part of the appliance.
WHAT IS CHECKED AND THE TESTS CARRIED OUT...?
Visually checking the appliance for safety or damage to the plug, fuse, wiring, cable and
protective case of the appliance. Our Technical staff will ask themselves questions such as:
Is it in good condition
Is it free from cuts, fraying and damage?
Is it in a location where it could be damaged?
Is it too long, too short or in any other way unsatisfactory?
Does it have inadequate joints?
The Flex Outlet
Is there any sign of overheating?
Is it free from cracks and other damage?
Does it work?
Does it switch on and off properly?
Is it free from cracks, contamination damage to the case or damage, which could result in access to live parts?
Can it be used safely?
Are the users satisfied that the equipment works properly?
Is the equipment suitable for its environment?
Is the equipment suitable for the work it is required to carry out?
TEST EQUIPMENT AND CALIBRATION
Only when the test engineer is satisfied with the visual checks, is the appliance connected to the test equipment. Modern computerised Portable Appliance Test (PAT) equipment is used for testing.
This equipment is capable of carrying out all the tests necessary under the Code of Practice. The test results are stored by this equipment and downloaded to a computer, to provide accurate test result documentation. The equipment used is regularly calibrated and it is also checked for accuracy before every testing session.
EARTH BOND TESTING
The safety of certain appliances depends upon a connection with the earth for its safety.
A test is carried out using electrical test equipment to ensure a safe earth is present in the appliance. The test is to ensure that the connection between the earth pin in the mains plug of the appliance and the metal casing of the appliance is satisfactory and of sufficiently low resistance.
A test is carried out using electrical test equipment to ensure the insulation resistance in the appliance is at a safe level.
This test is used to verify that adequate insulation exists between the mains supply pins and the earth.
EARTH SCREEN TEST
Used to test IT equipment (e.g. computers, copiers etc) which require a low earth ‘screen’ current of lOOmA (sometimes called business equipment or IT test). This is to prevent damage to the equipment.
This is a very severe test and can cause damage to equipment. Flash tests are normally only carried out to equipment that has been repaired or sustained damage and only then, on certain appliances such as power tools.
EARTH LEAKAGE MEASUREMENT
A test is carried out to monitor the current flow through the earth lead of the appliance.
The leakage test shows the current being lost through leakage as the difference in the currents flowing in the live and neutral conductors. This difference is the total leakage away from the appliance. This test is of particular value when an appliance incorporates a number of sequences, which may change the electrical characteristics of the
appliance during its operation.
A test is carried out applying a voltage through a current limiting resistor to the mains supply plug and checks that the current flow will not be excessive when full voltage is applied to the appliance.
TOUCH LEAKAGE TEST
The touch test displays the current that would flow if a person touched the appliance.
The electrical test equipment detects any current flowing in the earth bond lead and indicates
the potential leakage through a metal panel.
A test is carried out to ensure that the appliance is working correctly and basically
does what it is supposed to do in the right environment.
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We are a highly accredited, insured and experienced team.
We are committed to compliance and legislation, ensuring we adhere to the latest industry standards.
We are proud to carry the latest accreditations and be part of the industry’s leading associations.