The definition of a portable appliance is anything that has a cable and cord and goes to an outlet plate, in fact we have 6 degrees of portable!
Hand Held, Stationary, Moveable, IT, Portable and Fixed!
Portable appliances can include such items as kettles, vacuum and floor cleaners, electric drills, extension leads, heaters, fans, and televisions. Also items of equipment that can be moved but whose typical usage doesn’t involve movement, such as photocopiers, fax machines and desktop computers and many more.
Then there the items that usually get over looked, the hand dryer in the bathroom has a cable and cord, because this is screwed to the wall does this mean it can never go wrong, does it mean it can never be damaged?
Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) is an important part of ensuring school safety. You like any business also have to comply with The Health and Safety at Work Act (HASAWA), The Provision and Use of Work Equipment (PUWER), The Electricity at Work Regulations and so on…
Don’t forget you also just want to provide a safe school for students, teachers and visitors.
Many schools we find get a company in each year and test everything, when your typical secondary school has circa 9,000 items the cost of this can get very expensive.
There are lots of false facts with PAT testing in Schools.
Myth #1: All electrical equipment needs testing each year.
Wrong. It depends on what the item is, who uses it and how often it is moved. By testing every appliance every year can lead to a lot of over PAT testing and wasted money and time.
Myth #2: It will take a long time to test everything in the school.
If you have a proper risked based scheme where appliances are tested a suitable and sufficient intervals you will be using your valuable time and money where it matters. Many schools we train have various technicians, maintenance staff and other departments undertaking the PAT testing in their area only. This spreads out the work load to more manageable amounts.
Myth #3: I need an electrician to PAT test equipment.
Wrong. With appropriate training, knowledge and common sense PAT testing maintenance and inspections can be carried out by a competent and trained member of staff.
The most important part of a PAT test is the visual inspection of the cables, plugs and the equipment itself for signs of damage. Using a PAT test machine is important but with today’s modern machine this can be a simple process. Some of them only have 3 buttons!
Myth #4: PAT Tester and PAT Training is expensive.
This is certainly not the case, we charge £357+VAT to come to your school and train up to 3 people to PAT test (Only £60 per person after the first 3).
A Modern simple tester and be purchased for around £278.
So your initial outlay is only £635+VAT, let’s compare this with the annual PAT testing bill of 9,000 items at let’s say 80p per item, total cost: £7,200.
That is a massive first year saving of £6,565 and best of all you continue to save this every year thereafter.
In conclusion, PAT testing is a necessary part of Health and Safety compliance in your school. With a little bit of knowledge, training, and common sense, it can be readily incorporated into your school management routine, and carried out by an existing members of staff.
If you would like to discuss this in more detail, please contact is on 01793 497181 or visit our website here: