How safe are my appliances?

Is a question our clients ask on a regular basis. However there are many factors which influence how safe an appliance really is. In this post we will take a brief look at the role of PAT testing in portable appliance safety.

Safety starts by what looks safe or rather what looks unsafe, if it looks dodgy then it most likely is dodgy. The first rule is safety is everyone’s responsibility, if we use an electrical appliance in the course of our work then it is our responsibility to check it is safe to use. However what do we mean by check it is safe to use, after all not all of us are experts in electrical safety..

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User checks

These are basic checks which are carried out by the user of the appliance Common sense checks such as. Is the plug intact, no wires sticking out of the appliance or bare wires visible. Any defects should be reported as appropriate in line with your businesses policies.

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Formal visual inspection

These tests are to be carried out by a fully trained and qualified PAT tester. Checks include the condition of plugs, flexes and general integrity of the appliance are made. To go one stop further we even check if the appliance is suitable for the role it is intended.
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Full PAT test

Full pat testing includes not only the formal visual inspection, but a full electrical diagnostic test. In plain english we check the plug and flex are intact and safe, the correct fuse is used. If it is a class 1 appliance it is earthed, and on all appliances the insulation is fit for purpose.

Would you use this plug?

Scorching distorted pins and cracks are all symptoms of underlying problems, the faults may not even be with the appliance but with the socket itself. If in doubt, switch off and seek help. Remember if the socket itself is unsafe so is the appliance.