If you own a property and intend to rent it to a tenant, then the safety of these occupants should be a high priority for you. An important part of this is to ensure that all electrical appliances within the property are functioning correctly, and the recommended way to ensure this is via PAT testing. PAT testing is short for Portable Appliance Testing, and is a necessary activity to comply with Health and Safety regulations. It takes the form of a simple check of electrical appliances to ensure they are safe to use.
Frequency of PAT Testing will depend on the type of appliance as well as where it is being used. HSE Guidelines state that the frequency of inspection and testing depends upon the type of equipment and the environment it is used in. For example, a power tool which is used on a construction site should be examined more frequently than a lamp in a hotel bedroom or a kettle in a landlord’s property. If you are the owner of a property and renting it out, PAT testing to enable a properly certified property is one of the things that is a requirement before any tenancy can be granted. It is advisable to conduct PAT testing of all small appliances, where a small appliance is any device that can be unplugged and portable (kettles, toasters, lamps, microwave ovens etc). It is also good practise to not simply test these appliances once, but to repeat PAT testing annually (though there is no legal requirement to make this an annual undertaking).
PAT testing of this sort should be done in tandem with an electrical installation condition report, or EICR for short. This Report should be undertaken whether for a property you own or rent. With an EICR, the fuseboard of the property along with wiring and electrical accessories are tested and inspected for any faults or issues from the standards expected. This will include checking the earthing and bonding of wires, any wear and tear that might affect safety, any exposed live wires or other faults. An EICR, as with PAT Testing, should only be carried out by a skilled and competent registered electrician.
A landlord’s Electrical Safety Certificate is a necessary document to ensure a property is safe. The inspection which results in the certificate should be undertaken by a qualified electrician who is registered with the appropriate national authorities relating to safety testing. The electrical wiring condition of the property will be examined, and detailed checks will be taken on the levels of safety with the electrical installation. On conclusion of this test, an Electrical Safety Certificate is provided once everything has been checked to the electrician’s satisfaction. Once an inspection has been carried out, it is advisable to repeat the process every 5 years.