What is the biggest concern to any business when they have the PAT Testers in? Their Computer Servers being turned off.
When conducting PAT testing computer server systems the technician needs to be very vigilant and aware of the importance for the continual operation of a server system, so great care has to be taken to not cause any problems for the client by unplugging anything without permission.
Understandably; if the server gets disconnected unexpectedly and without your knowledge it can lead to major issues not least down-time for staff, but in the most worrying situation – loss of data.
It gives us major concern at the horror stories we hear from clients about previous PAT Testers;
“They insisted we turned off the servers”
“They didn’t even ask, they just turned off the servers”
There is no need for this behaviour; we would never do I either – we work with you to ensure the best results are achieved in the safest manner, but in the best way for your business.
There are various methods for inspecting the servers, and all will mean you have a record of the units, and each will have a label with ID number, and you won’t have been disrupted. This can include:
‘Visual’ only inspections which means nothing gets disconnected or switched off
Outside of working hours inspections
Full tests, at convenient down-time, after consultation with your IT department
We are always very careful around servers, and follow your instructions clearly. Most of our clients prefer if we simply do a visual inspection on the appliances, with an earth test (not unplugging anything).
Use of Thermal Imaging to help
When you really don’t want your server turning off we don’t want to be just doing an inspection every time, without being able to really check anything so we use thermal imaging cameras to check for any hot spots. If we find anything hotter than it should be we report it to you so you can do your own additional inspections.
How often should a server be tested?
A proper server system in a rack, well managed by an IT company, correctly installed will have secure individual components, well ventilated that never move so the risk is very very low meaning they would need a test at the maximum intervals; generally every 5 years is perfectly acceptable, although you should do your own risk assessment to confirm this.
Prevent the server being turned off
A secure socket would prevent the server being turned off accidentally. We can install covers on sockets, with or without locks which prevent people from tampering with them, unplugging them, etc. Check out our safety socket covers page for more information.
Richard Ayre is an experienced PAT testing engineer with many years experience and the Managing Director of DRA PAT Testing Limited based in Newcastle upon Tyne. Richard is also the Operations Director for the UK's Portable Appliance Testing Trade Association.