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What is PAT Testing

Kettle that has been labelled to show it has undergone portable appliance testing

What is PAT? well 'PAT' is the abbreviation of Portable Appliance Testing, more commonly known as PAT Testing. The phrase 'PAT Testing' is in fact a tautology in the same way that some people say 'LCD Display'. However, the phrase is commonly used in the industry even though most people realize it is incorrect. The correct term for the whole process is 'In-service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment' but that's a bit if a mouthful so most just call it 'PAT'.

Laminator (A portable electrical appliance) that has been inspected and passed its PAT testing.

PAT Testing is series of checks, inspections and tests performed on Portable Electrical Appliances by suitably competent persons on items ranging from large freezers and fridges down to something as small as a phone charger. If it plugs into a mains socket and is being used in a commercial environment then it should have been and will continue to need PAT Testing.

The type and frequency of checks, inspections and testing needed will depend on the type of equipment in use, the environment in which it is used and the results of previous checks. PAT Testing is all about the prevention of personal injury and damage to premises through fire caused by faulty electrical appliances. PAT Testing is a risk based procedure that requires the duty holder to perform a risk assessment of the workplace, how appliances are being used and how best to mitigate potential risk.