Ensure the safety of your appliances by conducting thorough PAT Testing

by | Mar 21, 2024 | Blog

Plug Fuses

Appliance manufacturers have standardized two plug fuse ratings – 3A and 13A – to simplify usage and have matched them with appropriate flex sizes. A 3A fuse is used for appliances up to 700W, while a 13A fuse is used for those exceeding 700W. The plug fuse’s primary purpose is not to protect the appliance, although it often does so in practice.

Appliances are typically designed to meet European standards for use across Europe. In most countries, the plug itself is not fused. If an appliance requires a fuse to adhere to the standard, it must be integrated within the appliance. The plug fuse safeguards against faults in the flex and enables the utilization of a reduced CSA flexible cable. This is particularly beneficial for appliances like electric blankets, soldering irons, and Christmas tree lights, where the flexibility of a small flexible cable is advantageous.

Electrical Safety Reminder

Electricity poses serious risks! Annually, around 1000 work-related accidents involving electric shock or burns are reported to the Health and Safety Executive, with approximately 15 of these incidents resulting in fatalities.

In-Service Testing

The IEE Code of Practice identifies four test scenarios:

  1. Type Testing to an appropriate standard
  2. Production testing
  3. In-Service testing
  4. Testing after repair

This document explicitly addresses topics related to In-Service Testing only.

In-Service testing includes the following procedures:

  • Preliminary inspection
  • Earth continuity tests (for Class 1 equipment)
  • Insulation testing (which may sometimes be substituted by earth leakage measurement)
  • Functional checks

Electrical testing should be conducted by an individual proficient in the safe operation of test equipment and capable of interpreting test results accurately. This individual must also possess the skills to inspect equipment thoroughly and, if necessary, disassemble it to verify cable connections.

For equipment permanently linked to fixed installations, such as via a flex outlet or another accessory, the accessory must be detached from its box or enclosure to allow inspection of the connections. Such tasks should only be performed by a qualified person.

Fire Safety Note

Malfunctioning electrical appliances and leads are a primary cause of accidental fires in commercial buildings, accounting for over a quarter of all such incidents.