Information about PAT testing in offices
Taking office PAT Testing to the next level
When we carry out Office PAT testing we’re not just testing your equipment to make sure its safe but we’re also checking it’s being used correctly too.
We check you’re not daisy-chaining extension leads (not running more than one in sequence, plugged into each other), and if you are we find a better solution for you.
We check floor boxes are being used correctly and cables aren’t becoming trapped
We check cables aren’t a trip hazard, and that trunking is being used correctly
We work with our clients to find better ways to manage their office IT equipment and other electrical appliances so they operate an efficient workplace.
This socket was found in an office; as you can see from the brown marks, the heater that was plugged into it, had caused overheating of the socket. It had overheated because these sockets were only intended to be used with low power drawing IT equipment, not electric heaters. Things like this often get missed by users of equipment in the office. This could very easily have become something far more serious such as a fire, had we not spotted it when we did.
Check out this article on why you shouldn’t plug electric heaters into extension leads
How often should PAT testing be done in an office?
Every 2 years – as a general guide office PAT testing requirements suggest every 2 years as the best interval for how often PAT testing should be done in an office.
The HSE recommends that office equipment is PAT tested every 2-4 years, but taking into account risks of accident, fire, etc it is a brave office manager who allows 4 years to pass between checks. We certainly would not recommend it.
2 yearly PAT tests are a good period of time; it’s not too often, and it’s not too long. Imagine getting something new, that wasn’t as safe as you thought, and you plugged it in after the PAT test has been done, planning to use it for another 4 years before it gets checked. Only for it to start a fire after a year’s use, because it wasn’t up to British safety standards.
Whilst every 2 years is recommended, don’t take that as gospel; there may be other circumstances to consider, and a more frequent PAT testing frequency may be better for your business.
We recommend to our clients that we test such items every 2 years – that’ll save you half your usual costs!
A computer sat on a desk gets put there and stays there usually until it gets replaced or you move around the office, so the chances of it developing a fault are low. So the risk is low; so you shouldn’t need to test it every year.
What needs PAT Testing in an office?
Computers, monitors, printers, photocopiers, their power leads, extension blocks and so on all need to be in a safe condition to meet the Electricity at Work regulations. Electrical safety is paramount to protect your staff.
Phone chargers, laptop leads, radios, fans, heaters and general kitchen equipment all add to the risk of overloading extension leads, so it is important to regularly get us in to ensure we help you maintain a safe working environment.
All these things are classed as standard electrical equipment, and when they’re in an office, where all equipment is like this, be it a doctors surgery, recruitment company, accountancy firm or even a school, this applies to you.
But you know your electrical equipment is ‘safe’…
If you’re managing an office, lots of computers, etc. You pretty much know they’re “safe”.
They’ve sat on the desk since you bought them, they work fine, they’ve never been dropped or had coffee spilled on them. So why do they need PAT Testing?
Are you sure the plug is the right type? That it meets British Standards? That it’s not one of the cheap, dangerous counterfeits that flooded the UK a few years back, prone to overheating after prolonged use?
Does it have the right fuse in the plug? Even have a fuse? Has someone changed the fuse and used the wrong one? Will it protect you if there is a fault?
Are you overloading extension leads? Is there too many items plugged in? Is there something plugged in that could cause overload ?
Are staff secretly bringing items to work that are not safe? Like cheap phone chargers that can catch?
Are all your sockets accessible? If someone got an electric shock would you be able to disconnect the power in time?
If you’re unsure about any of these, a PAT test is what you need. PAT is about more than checking appliances are safe, it also checks…
They’re being used in the right way,
In the right place
Have been installed correctly
Meet British Safety Standards, etc
Once you’ve done all these checks you’re on the right path to a safer office. You’ll need to do it again in the future, but probably not every year.
Some cheaper suppliers skip a lot of these steps so they can concentrate on testing as many items as they can in the shortest time – we look ???? at the bigger picture to help you maintain a safer working environment, long term.
We are DRA PAT Testing – speak to us today about your office PAT testing.