PAT Testing For Schools
Healthy and Safety has played an important role in the day-to-day running of schools and colleges for many years now, with regular testing of electrical appliances becoming an intrinsic part of creating a safe environment for students, whilst also ensuring compliance with the Healthy and Safety at Work Act.
Improperly maintained electrical equipment has the potential to cause electric shock and even fire, so regular testing is particularly important for any educational institute. PAT testing in schools is often similar to that which is carried out in commercial buildings and office suites, focusing on the testing of class I or II electrical items such as PCs, laptops, monitors, printers, fax machines and other communication equipment.
As such, PAT testing in schools is often focused around the IT department, with the biggest danger when testing this kind of equipment being the risk of damaging electronic circuits during the test, resulting in a loss of data. This issue is easily avoided with correct preparation prior to PAT testing, with suggested precautionary measures including speaking to the IT Department Manager or whoever is responsible for the area and requesting that they shut down all systems before you begin testing.
Requesting that they restart the systems once PAT testing is complete will serve to prove that testing has been successful and that is has not resulted in any loss of data. PAT testing is also required on portable appliances such as kettles, vacuums and floor cleaners, tools, extension leads, mobile phone chargers, heaters, fans and televisions.
With a large number of electrical appliances usually kept on site, schools and colleges often find that keeping on top of PAT testing is a huge task. Testing must usually be performed during school holidays, when the students are not on the premises and easy access to electrical appliances is available in all areas.
In some cases, such as low risk school environments, it may be sufficient for a competent and suitably qualified member of school staff to take responsibility for PAT testing to an adequate level of compliance. In other instances, a school’s Local Education Authority (LEA) may insist that all electrical testing is performed by an independent contractor, such as ourselves.
We are able to provide a range of services to suit all requirements for PAT testing in schools including:
- Regular inspection and testing
- Consultancy services for Healthy and Safety compliancy
- Supply and maintenance of PAT testing equipment
- Short training sessions for all school and college staff in ongoing ‘user checks’
If you have decided to employ the services of a contractor, or have had this requirement imposed on you by your LEA, please do not hesitate to contact us for a quotation.
PAT testing in schools is almost always less expensive than initially anticipated and we are confident that we can beat any quotation, offering the safest and most effective service based on our extensive knowledge.
Although we would always suggest employing a suitably qualified contractor to perform all PAT testing, it is important to ensure that you are not paying unnecessarily for appliances that do not need to be tested every single year.
Whilst some appliances may require very frequent testing, others may only need to be checked every two, three or even four years. When staff are adequately trained to look for obvious faults (known as ‘user checks’), such as frayed or exposed wiring, overheating plugs and similar, it can help to greatly minimise the risks associated with using electrical equipment between testing.
The ultimate aim for any school that is conscious of complying with the Health and Safety at Work Act is a succinct and simple programme that brings all electrical checks in line. Our extensive knowledge of PAT testing allows us to offer honest and informed advice on the best service to suit the individual needs of your school or college.
We have advised many organisations and educational authorities on the implementation of a successful PAT testing programme that meets national safety standards. By employing W Burns & Son (Electrical) to review your electrical testing processes, you could save money, raise safety standards and improve the electrical safety knowledge of your staff.