In Great Britain, the process of Electrical Equipment Testing, or PAT testing is important because of the influx of cheap appliances coming from all parts of the world. Many of these devices have been found to be lacking in quality and should be tested before they are used in a home or in a business.
In the past there have been fires and electrical shocks resulting from devices that are made poorly and are not up to scratch as far as safety standards are concerned. Not only are these tests required for new appliances, they are required to be tested periodically moving forward as well.
As a rule, the testing is performed by qualified PAT testers and electricians that will use calibrated devices for the testing. Once the items pass the test, a label is attached with a PASS or a FAIL clearly marked so as to guide use or dispose of the item.
The reasoning for the testing is based on statistics such as the finding that in 2007, over 60 per cent of all of the accidental fires in homes were caused by electrical equipment that was faulty. This is an astounding statistic because of the huge percentage of fires that can be attributed to one cause.
While it is not currently required for everyone to maintain a required regimen of safety checks, it is strongly suggested. Particularly for people who rent out property, and for businesses that use electrical devices and tools. These would be the types of organizations that would need to be tested regularly. Of course, schools and companies with large groups of employees would also be candidates.
Much of the compliance is also the responsibility of employees, residents and people at large. For example, if people see appliances that look as if they are not working properly, or are having problems, they should bring that to the attention of those responsible people to be tested or replaced. Nobody wants to work or be exposed in an environment where it might be unsafe.
There are commercial companies like us here at Fire and Electrical Safety Ltd that will come to a business or an organization in and around Milton Keynes and set up a periodic PAT testing program in order to ensure that all of the appliances are tested and working properly. Just because an appliance is doing well today, does not mean that it will be in the same shape a year from now.
Tools in an industrial setting are used by many different workers in some industries, and need to be tested periodically. Radios, steam irons, Television sets, CD players, electric clocks, and any device or appliance that will remain plugged into a wall socket for a period of time needs to be tested.
The final result is that all electrical appliances and devices will be tested and labeled periodically in order to maintain a level of safety for the whole of society. Particularly with so many foreign products that have proliferated the marketplace in recent years, this process takes on an even more important role.