PAT, or Portable Appliance Testing, is important for business owners to keep on top of. Testing appliances for electrical efficiency are vital to ensuring the safety of staff, customers, visitors and electrical hardware.


Contrary to popular belief, there is no set rule by the Health and Safety Executive as to the frequency of PAT tests. This is because different items and situations call for different measures. It is wholly up to the individual to decide how often testing should take place, however, there are specific recommendations as to the frequency:


How often should you have a PAT test inspection?

(A description of the different types of equipment can be found below for reference.)


Offices, shops, hotels and alike

  • Class 1 equipment (general IT equipment) should be tested every 4 years.
  • Portable equipment such as extension leads should be tested every 2 years
  • Handheld and more frequently used and transported equipment should be tested every 12 months due to the increased risk of damage.



  • All class 1 and IT equipment should be tested every 1 year.
  • Class 2 equipment should be tested every 2 years.



  • All 110V equipment that’s regularly used on a construction site should be tested as often as every 3 months!



  • Industrial sites including commercial kitchens should have their portable and handheld equipment tested as often as every 6 months.
  • For other stationary, movable or IT equipment, it is recommended to test every 12 months


Testing Equipment Examples


Class 1 equipment

Basic insulation and reliant on an earth for protection.

  • Kettles
  • Microwaves
  • Fridges
  • Freezers
  • Etc


Class 2 equipment

Supplementary insulation, and does not rely on earth for protection

  • DVD Players
  • Lamps
  • Power Tools
  • TV’s
  • Etc


IT Equipment

Typical office and admin appliances

  • Computers
  • Mains power telecoms
  • Small printers
  • Photocopiers
  • Etc


Movable equipment

Equipment weighing less than 18kg, usually fitted with wheels or casters.

  • Power washers
  • Oil filled heaters
  • Etc


Handheld equipment

Equipment weighing less than 18kg and designed to be operated in the hand

  • Hair dryers
  • PDAs
  • Power drills
  • Etc


Stationary equipment

Equipment weighing over 18kg without a provided means of carrying

  • Washing Machines
  • Printers
  • Chest freezers
  • Etc


110V equipment

Tools running on a 110v power supply

  • Certain cement mixers
  • Power drills
  • Power adapters
  • Crane lifts
  • Circular saws
  • Etc

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