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Cafe PAT Testing

Cafe PAT Testing

Today’s blog post fits in nicely with the PAT testing frequency query that I previously answered. With some businesses, it may initially not be that obvious what category you fall under when trying to decide how often you need to PAT test. A cafe, restaurant, bar or pub would come under several categories depending on the area the appliance is used in.

Cafe PAT Testing

Any items used in the kitchen would clearly come under commercial kitchen PAT testing so that is reasonably simple. Items behind a bar could also come under that section; there is an increasing trend for cafes to toast paninis and sandwiches on the back bar of the counter, these contact grills would be an excellent example of appliances of this nature. Pie warmers, hot cabinets or cocktail blenders should also be dealt with in the same manner.

Where the customers sit is a different matter. Ideally, there should be no electrical appliances that the general public can touch, especially if you often have children in your establishment. You may have lamps to enhance the lighting or a TV on the wall – these aren’t appliances that the public would ‘use’ in the sense of the IET guidelines so it may be suitable to apply the shop PAT testing guidelines in this case.

Items that the public would use would be more applicable to vending machines, self-service coffee or soft-drinks machines, soup kettles or fruit machines. You may find that once you’ve reviewed all your appliances, that you’ll have some that require different PAT testing intervals. It can be common to have items with 3, 6, 12 and 24 month intervals all within a single business premises. If you require any help putting together your PAT testing schedule, contact us and we will be happy to help.

Vending Machine PAT Testing

“We hire our vending machines in our office. Whose responsibility is it to make sure they’re PAT tested?”

This is a simple one really – it’s up to the machine owner to ensure that the equipment they provide you is safe. The same applies for all hired appliances, from vending machines & water coolers, to smaller short-term hired appliances that you may have. This doesn’t mean you can ignore them and forget about them though, make sure they have been recently tested when you accept delivery of the item and if they don’t get re-tested when they are supposed to be then contact the hire company. If the appliance was to cause a fire or injury and it’s on your business premises it’s going to inconvenience you much more!

PAT Testing Frequency

When visiting clients we often get asked the question;

“How often does my equipment need PAT testing?”

The common misconception is that it needs carrying out once a year. Another is that it doesn’t need carrying out at all! So which is it?
Well, neither are true and there are many things to consider before you decide how regular to test your appliances. Before you do, you can read our guides towards PAT testing and the law and fire & insurance requirements to give yourself some background knowledge.

If you’re happy that you satisfy these, then the IEE (Institute of Electrical Engineers) have published a code of conduct. Within the document, which was last revised in November 2012, it contains guidelines as to how often your equipment should be tested. We’ve broken this down into handy sections so that you can work out what will be most suitable for your business needs. You can find it located at the link below.

PAT Testing Frequency Guide

Electrical Testing for landlords

PAT Testing for Landlords

Many people ask me what their obligations are when it comes to PAT Testing in rental properties. The short answer is that it depends what you are letting with the property – if the property is unfurnished & only contains hard-wired electrics such as lights & plug sockets then there is nothing for you to PAT Test. If it’s part or fully-furnished and some of those items are portable appliances, then you are required under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 to ensure the premises are fit for people to live & remain in such condition.

There’s nothing that explicitly states that you must perform PAT testing, however it is any easy and cost-effective way to show that you have complied with the legislation. Having an annually dated PAT test certificate puts the onus back on the tenant to ensure they are looking after items as they should be and reporting anything unusual between tests.  Below are a couple of keypoints that are worth taking note of.

In Great Britain in 2010;

  • 22 people died as a result of electrocution and/or fatal electric burns suffered at home
  • there were 20,284 accidental electrical fires in homes, resulting in 48 deaths and 3,324 injuries

If you own any rental property here are a couple of handy pdf guides from the Electrical Safety Council

PAT Testing Reminder Service

I’m pleased to announce the launch of a brand new service available from today on the Peeko website. Having spoken to many people responsible for PAT testing in businesses of various sizes, it’s clear that PAT testing is not the top priority and is easily overlooked. We all have wide-ranging responsibilities and it can be easy to forget important dates. If you rarely unplug your appliances, such as IT or factory equipment that is classed as portable, but is stationary, you don’t often look at the PAT test due date sticker attached to the plug.

To solve this problem, we’ve built a simple PAT testing reminder service on our website. It’s a form that will take you about 15 seconds to fill in (you could’ve done it already if you weren’t reading this!) and you’ll receive an email a month before the re-test date to remind you to get your PAT test booked.

It’s 100% free to use, and you can use it whether you are a Peeko customer or not.

Find it on the PAT testing reminder service page.

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