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PAT testing - Ascentant Accountancy Derby

During our visit to Ascentant's offices we carried out portable appliance testing on various electrical items. Ascentant is a small accountancy business with about 10 members of staff. 

We arranged to carry out the PAT testing at the weekend which was outside of business hours and allowed us to efficiently carry out tests on all of the Portable Appliances at the location without disturbing the operations of the business. 

Whilst there we found a total of over 60 electrical appliances which needed to be tested for electrical safety. 

These items consisted of office equipment and associated equipment such as power cords and extension leads. 

Major Faults Identified

Almost all of the equipment was found to be in good condition. 

One major fault that we identified was an over-loaded extension lead.

 

This extension lead had been used to provide power to various high wattage appliances including; a fridge, water boiler for hot drinks, and a portable heater. 

 

 The extension lead had become over-loaded due to the high current load which had been applied to it by the high wattage appliances. 

Because of the over-heating the 13amp mains plug on the extension lead was found to be burned and had started to melt and fuse to the wall socket. 

This had caused serious damage to the plug and to the electrical wall outlet. If this fault was not identified in time it could have continued to over-heat and potentially caused a fire which would have led to devastating damage as well as major interruption to the business. 

What we did:

The plus on the extension lead was replaced free of charge, retested and returned to the customer. 

The wall outlet was taken out of use and deemed unsafe to use - we instructed the customer to contact their landlord to have the wall socket replaced and the fixed wiring to be checked. 

We gave advice to the customer about the safe use of extension leads and how the use of multipoint extension cables should be avoided if possible. We also advised the client that if they need additional sockets for the number of appliances they need to use that they should ask their landlord to install additional wall outlets to enable electrical items to be plugged directly into the mains wall outlet and removing the need for additional extension lead. 

 

Takeaways:

·         Regularly inspect your electrical items. 

·         Appliances should be checked by the users between PAT testing to ensure that they remain in good condition.

·         Make sure that extension leads are not over-loaded and where possible avoid the use of multi-point extension leads, instead plug              appliances directly into the mains outlet.

·         Discourage employees from bringing their own electrical items into your office

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