In order to perform a Portable Appliance Test an appliance needs to be shut down and unplugged; this includes server systems.

If you don’t shut down the server the PAT engineer can’t carry out the appropriate tests, so there is no way of knowing if the server is safe.

PAT engineers who put labels on servers and record the appliances without testing anything are doing just that – that’s not a safety check; it’s simply an audit or asset register.

If the server is not turned off all the engineer does is a very basic visual inspection, which doesn’t check the plugs and connections, nor is he able to unplug the appliance to test the earth and insulation. It could be that a fire-risk fault still remains.

By not turning off the server you have taken responsibility for the safety of it, so if anything happens it is you that is responsible.

It is not recommended that this process be allowed to continue.

Best Thing To do

We strongly advise that you arrange for your IT department to shut down the servers so we can test them correctly. We do not recommend that servers be left running indefinitely without ever getting checked; server systems do overheat and start fires.

If shutting down is not an option at all, then you need to take alternate action. A thermal image survey is a good option – a suitably qualified electrical engineer will conduct a survey of the system and report any dangerous or potentially dangerous issues.

Whichever option you prefer please speak to us to make the arrangements as soon as possible.