While most people think that portable appliances like electric kettles and toast machines are safe, the truth is that these items have been blamed for a lot of fires, which is why you should do PAT testing or Portable Appliance testing on them.
If you don’t believe portable appliances can cause fires, think back to the time of May 2007 Cutty Sark fire. It was triggered by a vacuum cleaner left was plugged in overnight. The fire actually reached 1,000 degrees Celsius at its peak.
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What Do You Need To Know?
When considering whether or not to PAT test your appliances, you should know the type of appliance you have. There are two classes of appliances – Class 1 and Class II.
Class 1 appliances have an earth wire to absorb extra currents of electricity. Without an earth wire, it’s possible for the outer surface of your appliance to cause an electrical shock. Class II appliances, on the other hand, are also known as ‘double insulated’ equipment. This means that the wiring inside the appliance is fully insulated and it’s rather impossible to have an accidental connection with a live wire, even if there’s faulty wiring.
Between the two types of appliances, it’s highly recommended that you do PAT testing on Class 1 equipment. That way, if there’s a fault in the wiring, you can easily detect it and not have to suffer an electrical shock.
With Class II appliances, you only need to do the usual user checks and inspection as the integrity of equipment casing is the main safety feature of these appliances.
Leave it to the Professionals
PAT testing should always be left to an electrician because, in order to properly conduct the test, you need to have the right equipment. Also, even with a visual inspection, you need to have trained eyes and extensive knowledge of appliances to do the job properly. That said, don’t be shy about hiring an electrician to do PAT testing, that person would have, and will know how to use, the right equipment and interpret the results properly to you.
Please take note, PAT testing results are only valid during the time of testing, they do not indicate the future performance and safety of an appliance. You should decide on period testing to ensure the continued safety of your appliances.
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