schools PAT testing, Manchester, Trafford, Altrincham, Stockport, Cheshire

Regular schools PAT testing a vital service.

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At 250 Rio we continually advise schools PAT testing be carried out regularly and thoroughly.

Lets face it – schools are always going to be full of portable appliances that will, for the most part, not get the level of love and attention they might get elsewhere. The sheer number of individual appliances across the school, coupled with multiple use across a wide range of ages, will test every piece of equipment to the full.

In the interests of safety, it is therefore vital that schools PAT testing is placed as a very high priority, in order to protect pupils and staff, primarily from the potential for electric shocks and the risk of fire.

Most appliances found in schools can become worn or damaged through constant or careless use and therefore become unsafe. Schools also can have a huge number of potential threats throughout the school. Computer equipment comes to mind immediately as it is so prevalent in modern education, with PC’s, monitors, printers, laptops and chargers all requiring constant surveillance.

Whilst these may often be found in classrooms it is also important to include school offices and staff rooms. The latter may also boast kettles, microwaves, laminators, glue guns and all the other more specialist electric equipment that become associated with schools pat testing.

Science departments are often are often also a source of a variety of electronic items relating to experiments and need to be checked as our areas where more practical lessons are given in woodworking, metalwork, even dressmaking and fashion where electrical devices are implemented.

We also have to consider the maintenance aspects of the school. Cleaners need to be protected with vacuum cleaners, floor buffers etc common causes of faults due to their regular use. Often schools also have maintenance teams and access to power tools and workshops which need to be covered.

It is important that all items are identified, whether they be on display or stored away. They need to be audited, checked and labelled as safe. At 250 Rio we have considerable experience in covering all aspects of a school and are special colour coded labels provide an easy to spot guide to in and out of date appliances. See the benefits of using 250 Rio here.

We are also aware that for the most part schools PAT testing needs to be conducted out of hours or during holiday time. We are used to working hours to suit the particular customer and at the outset can asses the job in hand and come up with a work programme to suit. We always aim to carry out the work with the minimum of disruption to the smooth running of the school.

We are always happy to discuss precise requirements and provide advice and guidance on any aspect of electrical safety for schools. Why not contact us for an informal, no obligation chat today.

pat testing for care homes

PAT testing for care homes explained

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PAT testing for care homes is an important consideration for anyone involved in this area of care. We entrust the care of many elderly people to care homes up and down the country and their staff are, in turn, responsible for all aspects of senior citizens’ health, welfare and safety.

As with any large scale living area, it is vitally important that electrical safety is reviewed regularly and PAT testing for care homes is carried out methodically and with due diligence.

Care Homes are characterised not only by the many electrical appliances in communal areas and kitchens, generally operated by staff and personal items in residents rooms, many of which may have been ‘imported by residents and relatives over time, such as televisions, radios, lamps hair dryers, and chargers.

250 Rio have extensive experience of PAT testing for care homes, working closely with the staff and dovetailing the work with the residents to ensure the minimum of disruption throughout the procedure.

We begin by looking at all the communal areas which tends to have communal televisions, sound systems, lighting and heaters and confirm they are in good working order. This includes in each case not just the appliance itself but also cables, sockets and plugs, checking for any signs of wear and tear or incorrect / loose wiring.

We move onto kitchens. Looking at kettles, microwaves, toasters, and other small kitchen appliances to ensure these are fit for purpose. Bathrooms may also boast hairdryers and heated rollers etc and also need to be considered.

We then conduct a review of individual rooms, trying to fit this round resident’s requirements. IN many care homes, beds will have electronic raising and lowering devices, may have electric blankets, both of which for obvious reasons must be in perfect working order at all times.

In a perfect world, new resident’s rooms should be checked when they arrive especially if they have brought electrical equipment with them when admitted.

If you are involved in specifying PAT testing for care homes, why not contact us today to find out more about our bespoke testing schedules and get a competitive quote. Call us on 0345 121 5665 or complete our contact form here.

Carrying out work across Manchester and the North West, Manchester, Altrincham, Stockport, Cheshire.

PAT testing for landlords, Manchester

PAT testing for landlords

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PAT testing for landlords is not something you can ignore if you currently let residential property, whether they be houses, apartments or even holiday homes. As a landlord you have a duty of care to protect your tenants, whether they are long or short stay, if you are acting as a business.

Electrical safety is paramount and without proper regular testing can easily become the source of any number of problems, which in many cases, where there is damage, an injury associated with a fault or worse, you could be liable for unlimited damages if it is proven that you were negligent in your duty to the affected party.

It is therefore vital that you regularly have portable appliances tested in every property for which you have responsibility and have supplied this type of equipment. This covers all the main white goods and brown goods, such as fridges, freezers, microwaves, televisions, vacuum cleaners, stand-alone lamps, even electric mowers and hedgers.

We recommend that PAT testing for landlords is carried out routinely and regularly to safeguard tenants and protect you, the landlord, from any future action.  Once is not enough, as appliances may become faulty over time or through the misuse of others. It is not only a sensible precaution but protects your property from potential catastrophic damage.

Testing should always be carried out by a competent, trained operator working with the appropriate approved equipment to check all items correctly.

250 Rio have extensive experience in providing PAT tests in tenanted property, to ensure that work is carried out in a timely fashion and with minimum disruption to you or your tenants, working in single or multiple properties. Our unique colour labelling systems and detailed recording ensures that we can keep you appraised of next testing daters, but also allows everyone to see clearly which appliances have been tested and when the renewal date is due. These will also distinguish between appliances within the property at a certain time and anything(un-labelled) that might have been introduced at a later date.

So why not contact us today and make sure you comply with your obligation for PAT testing in your property.

Carrying out work across Manchester and the North West, Manchester, Altrincham, Stockport, Cheshire.

Valuable discounts until end of September.

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PAT tests, portable appliance testingDuring the holiday period, we are delighted to announce discounted prices for PAT testing until 3oth September.

It’s an ideal time to have your business checked over, when there are more staff away on holiday, as this can minimise disruption.

Also particularly good for schools and colleges in the coming weeks prior to the new school start in September.

So why not get a quote today. See our discounted prices and get a free guide to PAT testing issues today. Click here now.

Plug and Socket Testing, PAT testing

How many appliances can your sockets handle safely?

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One of the most common source of electrical fires is the inappropriate use of sockets and gang plugs.

Users simply place too much power through sockets and leads that are not designed to take this level of electricity ampage, which leads to overheating and in extreme cases can cause catastrophic electrical fires.

It is vitally important that you follow some simple rules to prevent problems.

  • Check the current rating of the extension lead before plugging appliances into it. Most are rated at 13 A, but some are rated at only 10 A or less – the rating should be clearly marked on the back or underside of the extension lead. If not, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions
  • Never overload an extension lead by plugging in appliances that together will exceed the maximum current rating stated for the extension lead. This could cause the plug in the wall socket to overheat and possibly cause a fire.
  • Only use one socket extension lead per socket and never plug an extension lead into another extension lead
  • Use a multi-way bar extension lead rather than a block adaptor, as this will put less strain on the wall socket. Some block adaptors do not have a fuse, which increases the risk of overloading and fire.

Electrical Safety First – a safety charity provide detailed advice on this and have a handy ‘socket calculator’ so that you can check whether you are at risk. You can view this here.

Electricity is dangerous if not treated with respect. Make sure you don’t fall victim.

For office PAT testing services, why not contact us today.


Laptop overheating causes house fire

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A recent fire caused by an overheated laptop in Hampshire demonstrates the very real danger of electrical goods being mis-used in the home and the office.

In this instance the laptop had been left on charge overnight and it set fire to paper and a placemat and damaged a coffee table. Luckily the smoke alarms in the house were activated and alerted the family who were able to escape without further harm.

In this case the laptop had overheated having been left on to charge overnight and was clealry faulty. Other cases include situations where they are left perhaps on a bed and the ventilation becomes blocked and the appliance overheats.

We would suggest a few important safety tips for home and office to prevent a similar event befalling you.

  • When charging electrical items, keep them away from combustible materials, and don’t leave them on charge and unattended.
  • Carry out a visual check in your home to ensure your safety and reduce the risk of electrical fires.
  • Don’t store combustible materials close to the electrical intake equipment
  • An extension lead or adaptor has a limit to how many amps it can take, so do not to overload them. Keep to one plug per socket.
  • Check that your electrical products have not been recalled. In the last six years, more than 250 recall notices have been issued for electrical products, mostly due to a risk of electric shock or fire but  most recalls only achieving around 10 to 20 per cent success
  • Avoid buying counterfeit or substandard goods. They can contain incorrect or faulty parts that overheat risking fire or serious shock.
  • Keep electrical appliances clean and in good working order.
  • Regularly check for worn cables and wires. Check the cable is fastened securely to the plug and check the socket for scorch marks.
  • Switch off appliances at the socket when not in use and when you go out or go to bed, unless they are designed to be left on, like freezers.
  • Be aware of what you are charging, where it is and how long it has been on charge.
  • Don’t use chargers on surfaces such as bedding and carpets.
  • Buy your chargers from a reputable source.

We would be happy to provide advice on the correct PAT testing of appliances especially in an office environment to ensure you keep your employees safe.

Beware sub-standard laptop chargers

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On a recent PAT testing mission in the North East of the country, we came across a local news story which confirmed something we continue to have to ward against – the increase in dangerous imported chargers for laptops and other portable equipment.

The chargers in this case had been brought into Lowestoft and were being distributed locally – unfortunately they breached safety regulations because there was inadequate insulation between the circuit and its casing, plus its three pin plug casing was not of sufficient size – both increasing the risk of electric shock.

The article in the News Guardian can be read here and contains useful and important advice on how to look for inappropriate equipment.

If you require further advice or have any concerns about existing equipment then please do not hesitate to contact us.

PAT testers, PAT testing

What does a PAT tester do all day?

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The world of the PAT tester is varied with no two days completely alike.

We thought you might be interested in a day in the life of a PAT tester so we’ve put together a short diary to explain what is involved and how we go about our work. How we work with our clients, how we minimimise the disruption to their working day and what we look for in testing and what we provide on completion.

See “A day in the life of a PAT tester” here.