Thursday, January 2, 2014
With age and use, all electrical installations deteriorate. Whether in a commercial or domestic setting, your electrical appliances must be checked and tested for the sake of safety. Periodic inspections should be undertaken every 10 years in an owner-occupied house and every 5 years for a rented home. Before you move into a rented property, the landlord should make you aware of the testing status of all major appliances. If you are considering selling your home, it’s important to carry out an inspection for the safety interests of the new owners.
Periodic inspections are required to show whether any of your electrical circuits or equipment are overloaded and identify defective work. They are important for finding potential fire hazards and electric shock risks and highlighting lack of earthing or bonding.
What You Need to Know
Registered electricians and other electrically competent persons are able to carry out safety testing. They can check the condition of electrics against the UK standard for the safety of electrical installations and provide a report at the end of the safety testing process. If you are undertaking an electrical safety inspection, don’t forget to check:
· Switches, sockets and light fittings. Old models may need replacing.
· Switchgear and control gear. Wooden-backed fuse boxes and cast iron switches are unsuitable.
· Any cables that don’t use modern, long-lasting PVC insulation will need replacing. Fabric and black rubber insulation is considered unsafe.
· Whether there is adequate identification around electrical appliances.
· Relevant changes in how the premises is used.
All risks should be removed as soon as possible.
Portable Appliance Testing or PAT Testers are suitable for a wide range of uses. The simplest devices will show whether an appliance passes or fails electrical safety standards. Battery operated models are convenient and can easily be used by in-house business technicians. They show earth continuity, insulation resistance and polarity. Advanced PAT testers offer more information and functions, including a fuse test, protective conductor/touch current measurements and higher voltage insulation resistance tests. Look for a specialist company like PAT Testers that offers a full range of electrical testing equipment if you are planning to carry out portable appliance testing. Information on PAT testing training can be found online and it is strongly advised that one does not undertake testing without having the relevant expertise.