01275 331742

Who needs PAT testing?

PAT Testing - checking a plugPortable Appliance Testing (PAT) causes a bit of suspicion these days. There are companies out there who spam businesses with calls and emails trying to hard sell PAT testing. Even for those not on the receiving end of a hard sell, having someone come around to check your plug and stick a label on it can seem a bit like ‘health and safety gone mad’.

There is no legal requirement to do PAT testing in the UK. According to the Health and Safety Executive there is a requirement to “ensure that any electrical equipment that has the potential to cause injury is maintained in a safe condition”. PAT testing is a convenient way to make sure regular checks are done on electrical equipment and to document this. Regular PAT testing will help identify potentially unsafe equipment and show that you are taking your health and safety requirements seriously.

So, who exactly needs to have PAT testing done?



One of the main laws surrounding PAT testing are The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989. They require that equipment in workplaces is kept in a safe condition. The Health and Safety Executive recommend a risk based approach to testing. The risk will depend on the type of equipment but also on how frequently it gets moved and how likely it is to get damaged. So, a piece of electrical equipment used on a construction site may need to be checked daily whereas a desktop computer may only need to be checked every couple of years. The key is to understand the risks and have a schedule for checks to take place. We can do risk assessments for businesses in the Bristol area and help you come up with a schedule for PAT testing.



A lot of universities ask their students to have lamps, computers and other electrical equipment PAT tested before moving into halls of residence. This is mainly due to the fire risk from students bringing in lots of electrical equipment which they may have bought second hand or bought overseas. Some universities are known to do spot checks of halls of residence for non-PAT tested equipment. Universities often have their own PAT testing service, and PAT testing days, for new students. However, we can do PAT testing for students in Bristol if needed.



Landlords are not required to do PAT testing but they are required to make sure any electrical appliances they supply are safe. This is most often an issue with furnished accommodation and student accommodation where landlords are likely to be supplying fridges, washing machines and similar appliances. Adopting the PAT testing system gives landlords and easy, and widely understood, method for making sure the appliances they are supplying are safe. We can provide PAT testing for landlords in Bristol alongside our EICR report service.



There is no requirement for homeowners to have PAT testing done as long as their home is not being used as part of a business. However, we do get approached by people who have bought second hand electrical appliances who ask us to do PAT testing for them. This is a sensible precaution to take and we are happy to do PAT testing for homeowners in Bristol.


GW Electrical Services (SW) provide PAT testing in Bristol and the surrounding areas. We are NAPIT registered electrical contractors and are qualified to do PAT testing and issue you with the appropriate documentations. To find out more give us a call on 01275 331742 or email info@gwelectricalservicessw.co.uk