Electrical Testing

Electrical testing is a vital part of any comprehensive safety program for all businesses. Without regular testing of electrics there is a chance of not only electrical shocks if wires haven’t been maintained correctly, but also fire.

Work out what you need to do and how often you need to do it using out Electrical Testing Guide below:  

Fixed Wire Testing

(also, known as Electrical Installation Condition Survey)

What is it?

Fixed wire testing is the testing of a building’s circuits which are built into the structure. It includes the examination of socket outlets, lighting circuits and all additional ‘built-in’ circuits.

How often should it be done?

Legally it should be done every 5 years BUT the IET now recommend periodic testing which is be dependent on usage.

What results will be given?

A full report will be provided detailing what work was done and any limitations that meant further testing could not be done (if applicable), as well as an outline of any issues or dangers that may need to be monitored or fixed. 

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Emergency Lighting Testing

What is it?

Emergency Lighting Testing is the testing of all emergency lighting (escape route lighting, standby lighting, emergency escape lighting etc.), ensuring that they all work on the back-up power supplies in case of a power outage such as a fire or power cut. Should a building be plunged into darkness, it is vital that people inside can easily find their way to the safest route out.

How often should it be done?

Monthly – a short function test should be undertaken on all emergency lights

Annually – a full check of systems by a Service Engineer should be done

What results will be given?

The results of both monthly and annual tests should be recorded in an Emergency Lighting Log Book. Information recorded will include:

·         Dates of each periodic inspection and test

·         Dates & brief details of any of each service inspection or test carried out

·         Dates & brief details of any defects and of remedial action taken

·         Any alterations to the emergency lighting system

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Thermal Imaging Surveys

What is it?

Electrical thermography helps find hotspots in electrics by identifying areas where there is excess heat, indicating a fault. It is useful as there is no other preventive maintenance technology or technique that can identify defects such as poor connections, over loaded cables and faulty electrical equipment as safely and as quickly, whilst causing no interruption to the normal operation of your business.

How often should it be done?

There are no direct legalities for a Thermal Imaging Survey but The Electricity at Work Regulations (1989) places a ‘duty of care’ on all employers.

What results will be given?

A report which will detail:

·         Installation details

·         Schedule of items tested and inspected

·         A thermal image and standard digital image of whatever was surveyed

·         Recommendations for any further investigation required

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Portable Appliance Testing (P.A.T.)

What is it?

Portable Appliance Testing is the testing of small electrical appliances using both visual and electrical tests and ensures that appliances are in good working order.

How often should it be done?

There are no specific legalities around how often portable applicates should be tested but they should always be safely maintained. For instance, power tools that are used daily would need to be tested more often than a lamp in a boardroom.

What results will be given?

A written record of appliances tested will be supplied OR individual labels for each appliance tested will be placed on the appliance, detailing when tests were last carried out. It also shows that employers are taking the electrical safety of small appliances into consideration.

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