Do you need a PAT test?
By law, landlords, employers, owners of care homes, community halls etc. are required to ensure that any electrical equipment they provide is 'safe, well-maintained and suitable for the purpose for which it is being used'.
The only effective way to prove that equipment continues to comply with this is by portable appliance testing.
Additionally, some liability insurance requires that PAT testing is done regularly.
What equipment needs a PAT test?
Generally, anything that has a standard 3-pin plug and that is not built in. Note that for equipment that connects using a detachable 'IEC' lead such as computers / monitors etc. the lead is tested as a separate item. Extension leads also count as items that need testing.
For laptops and other extra-low voltage equipment that connects with a power adapter, only the adaptor needs testing.
What does testing involve?
Each item of equipment is switched off, disconnected and tested. This typically only takes a few minutes per item. If the item is suitable for continued use a pass label is affixed and it can be used again. If it is unsafe a fail label is affixed and the item must not be used. If the fault can be corrected easily (e.g. replace a fuse, rewire a plug) then this can be completed on site and the item can be used again.
What does it cost?
A site visit costs £40 which includes the first 25 items tested.
Each item thereafter costs an additional £1
Each item repaired on site incurs an additional charge up to £2 depending on the fault.