Electrical Testing FAQs

Posted in FAQs on 21 December 2017

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Here are our frequently asked questions regarding electrical testing. If you can’t find an answer to your question here, get in touch with us using the contact information at the bottom of the page.

Why do I need to carry out Electrical Testing?

Over time, electrical components and installations can deteriorate, and can potentially become unsafe. With this in mind, businesses and work places need to carry out Electrical Testing to comply with the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 (EAWR), as there is a section stating that employers must ensure their electrical equipment should be maintained to prevent danger.

These tests ensure that your premises is operating at an electrically safe standard to prevent injury or death in the workplace.

What are the two main Electrical Tests for a premises?

  • PIR (Periodic Inspection Reports): Carried out periodically after a certain number of years, these inspections will reveal if any of your electrical equipment or circuits are overloaded, identify any defective electrical work, and identify any lack of earthing. Inspections can also look out for any electric shock risks or fire hazards.
  • PAT (Portable Appliance Testing): The examination of portable electrical appliances and equipment to ensure they are still operating safely. It’s advisable that frequent visual checks should be carried out by the owner of the appliances, but also to have regular checks by a competent engineer also.

Who needs PIR and PAT tests?

  • All business premises
  • Commercial landlords
  • HMOs (Houses in Multiple Occupation)

What does the electrician do during their PIR visit?

A qualified electrical engineer will carry out the work, who will comprehensively test all electrical equipment, circuits and outlets. They will check on the condition, quality and operating adequacy of a variety of components, including:

  • earthing
  • bonding
  • wiring
  • sockets

Changes in the use of premises and their potential influence on safety will also be taken into consideration. Once testing is completed, a report will be drawn up from the recordings.

How long does the PIR visit last?

This depends on the size of the premises, but normally it takes between 2 and 3 hours to complete.

What does the electrician do during their PAT visit?

Individual tests will be conducted on all portable appliances, and the results are recorded and compiled into a report.

How long does the PAT visit last?

This is dependent on how many items you require testing, but generally we spend a few minutes testing each item.

Does the visit disrupt my business?

Fire Action takes every care to cause minimal disruption to your business during these vital tests. PAT tests should cause virtually no disruption to power while PIR tests may cause slight power outage to circuits, lighting or other electrics for a short time.

What do I get at the end of the tests?

Drawn from our recording during the test procedure, we compile a report, make recommendations and feedback our observations. PAT testing finishes with pass or fail stickers awarded to each individual item.

Do I need an Electrical Test every year?

There is no legal outlines regarding how often you should get a PAT test, though there are recommendations ranging from every 2 years to every 4 years. As a general rule, equipment that is used more often should be tested more frequently.

Once again, there are no legal requirements for the regularity of PIR tested, though every 5 years is recommended.

With over 15 years as South East England’s leading independent fire safety and security providers, we are happy to help you understand any of our invaluable services. Get in touch with Fire Action for more recommendations regarding frequency of testing.

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