Does new electrical equipment need PAT testing?

New electrical equipment

Does new equipment need PAT testing?

It is not normally necessary to test new items of electrical equipment, because the manufacturer has already tested it, but they should be inspected to make sure there is no damage and that it meets British Safety Standards (as it may have been built incorrectly, abroad) before first use.

New electrical equipment built within the EU and labelled with the CE mark can be deemed safe to use. 

Equipment of unknown origins or dubious provenance, such as something purchased online from an unknown shop, may not have the same safeguards in place and may require further inspecting by a professional company, and electrical testing.  

Do new electricals need PAT testing? If you are sure they came from a reputable supplier than they shouldn’t need PAT testing. New equipment should be safe when manufactured, and are tested before leaving the factory, so there should be no need for you to have to PAT test them before using them.

Assuming the new equipment has been bought from a bonafide retailer from the European Economic area.  Be more aware if you buy new equipment from ‘cheap’ online sites, especially if the appliances are imported from non-European countries. 

However, some company policies do require new equipment to be tested before being put into service, so really it depends on your own policy. Perhaps consider a risk assessment to decide. 

It should be sufficient to do a user check to make sure no damage has occurred in transit. 

If you have an appliance register it may also be a good idea to record this new equipment on that register. A good PAT company should have provided you with an excel document that you can use for recording your assets on. If not, ask them for it. We actually don’t provide it as standard because not everyone wants it, but it is easily available if you do – just ask. 

If you’re unsure of the safety of the appliance, don’t know how well maintained it has been since being made, or if you’ve bought it from abroad or not directly from the manufacturer/licensed supplier then you may want to consider PAT Testing the appliance before use. 

If the appliance has been bought off the internet, or there is any doubt in your mind about where the new equipment has come from it should undergo formal PAT Testing. 

Do you want your new electrical good PAT testing before using them? If you still want your equipment testing…

Do you have to PAT test new appliances?

The HSE says “new equipment should be supplied in a safe condition and not require a formal portable appliance inspection or test. However a simple visual check is recommended to verify the item is not damaged“. 

This however does depend on your discretion; for extra safety it is recommended that you do PAT test the appliance, giving you peace of mind, particularly if the appliance is something that could be hazardous or dangerous like a power saw. 

You also need to consider what is meant by ‘new’. New should mean something that is brand new, recently shipped from the manufacturer, and not be something that has been bought from a charity shop, or brought into the business by a member of staff. 

Testing new appliances, that are new to the organisation mean the appliance can be added to your existing asset register. 

When do you need to PAT test?

You need to PAT test as soon as possible; the purpose of the PAT test is to make sure your electrical equipment is safe. If it’s been used for a while by different people, how can you be sure it is still safe?