Why do I need PAT testing?

Portable appliance testing (PAT) is the term used to describe the examination of electrical appliances and equipment to ensure they are safe to use. Most electrical safety defects can be found by visual examination but some types of defect can only be found by testing. However, it is essential to understand that visual examination is an essential part of the process because some types of electrical safety defect can't be detected by testing alone.



The legislation of specific relevance to electrical maintenance is the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974, the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999, the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989, the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 and the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. This includes the self employed.


The Health & Safety at Work Act (1974) places such an obligation in the following circumstances:

  • Where appliances are used by employees or customers.

  • Where the public may use appliances in establishments such as hospitals, schools, hotels, shops etc.

  • Where appliances are supplied or hired either individually or as part of a rental property etc

  • Where appliances are repaired or serviced.


If you don't PAT test...

Portable appliance testing, or PAT testing, is a major contributor to ensuring safety at all times, and will enable your business to comply with the legal standards. Failure to implement a programme of regular appliance testing can lead to serious consequences, as well as affecting insurance policies.

Most insurance companies will assume that the owners of a business are compliant with all relevant regulations. Insurers are fully entitled to reduce, delay or even refuse to pay on a claim for damage caused by a portable appliance that has not been PAT tested.

Landlord legal requirements.

Anyone who lets residential accommodation (such as houses, flats and bedsits, holiday homes, caravans and boats) as a business activity is required by law to ensure the equipment they supply as part of the tenancy is safe. The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 requires that all mains electrical equipment (cookers, washing machines, kettles, etc), new or second-hand, supplied with the accommodation must be safe.

The penalties for non-compliance can be severe: in certain cases, unlimited fines and imprisonment, not to mention the harm done to someone in the event of a serious electric shock, or the damage done to property in the case of a fire Landlords therefore need to regularly maintain the electrical equipment they supply to ensure it is safe.

The supply of goods occurs at the time of the tenancy contract. It is, therefore, essential that property is checked prior to the tenancy to ensure that all goods supplied are in a safe condition. A record should be made of the goods supplied as part of the tenancy agreement and of checks made on those goods. The record should indicate who carried out the checks and when they did it.

It is strongly advised that you have all the electrical equipment checked before the start of each let. It is also good practice to have the equipment checked at regular intervals thereafter, as well as obtaining and retaining all the test reports detailing the equipment, the tests carried out and the results.

Get all your electrical equipment tested today.

If you are a landlord or business owner and would like to find out more about where your business stands with regards to electrical safety, or if you think you could benefit from having your electrical equipment PAT tested, please call us on 07581 750887 or email us at smartpattesting@icloud.com