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PAT tests for your display

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  • PAT tests for your display

    We've recently sent an email out about the PAT test requirement and have been surprised at the number of replies from people who don't know about it, and more worryingly haven't been asked about it previously at fairs and think it's just one of our own 'rules'.

    It's actually a legal requirement that's been around since the early 90s, and is one of the Elf 'n Safety edicts that does really make sense, as poorly wired electrical items can be life threatening.

    Basically, any portable electrical item (i.e. with a plug on it) that's used in premises open to the public must show a current PAT (Portable Appliance Test) certificate.

    This includes obviously spotlights and fairy lights, soldering irons, sewing machines, radio or cd player etc. etc. etc.
    Kate
    www.cuckoos-nest-fairs.co.uk

  • #2
    I do sympathise Kate - it is once again one of those extras which you don't really know about needing until it comes up...

    I think that one of the biggest problems (although this differs wildly from area to area) is finding someone to do it for you without being charged corporate rates - e.g. flat charge of £250 (which usually is for a large company with 100s of items to test).

    I am really fortunate that one of the organisers I deal with has someone who offers PAT Testing at certain fairs (paid for, obviously, and valid for a year) otherwise the problem I would have is finding someone who still offers this at a reasonable price. A local electrician used to come round and do PAT testing for me but sadly they seem to have gone the way of many others during these tough times and most other electricians I asked either didn't offer the service or have sold the equipment as it was never used.

    There are also differing opinions regarding newly bought items and whether these are exempt from requiring testing for the first year - personally I get everything tested at once as most of the organisers who insist on certificates disregard the age of the item so better safe than sorry!
    Ali x

    Etsy Shop: aliscraftstudio.etsy.com
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    • #3
      I agree with Ali that I imagine a lot of people don't do it because they don't know where to get it done. One organiser I used supplied contact details of a couple of places/people I could contact so perhaps this is something you could do too Kate? After all as an organiser it's in your interests to help out with these regulations.
      Visit Natty Netty for a huge selection of Iris Folding supplies

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      • #4
        Originally posted by nattynetty View Post
        I agree with Ali that I imagine a lot of people don't do it because they don't know where to get it done. One organiser I used supplied contact details of a couple of places/people I could contact so perhaps this is something you could do too Kate? After all as an organiser it's in your interests to help out with these regulations.
        We do! - exhibitors can have the test done in situ behind their stall at most of our fairs at a cost of only £2 per item, as one of our people is qualified and equipped to do it, and we actively encourage as many as possible to light their stands.

        Independent lighting on stalls is crucial to the overall quality of an event - not only to highlight your own work but if all stalls are lit it gives an instant 'wow' factor to the room - you only need to walk round John Lewis or Debenhams to see the importance the major retailers give to good lighting!
        Kate
        www.cuckoos-nest-fairs.co.uk

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        • #5
          This thread has reminded me - I must get my light & lead tested at your November fair Kate

          I'd intended to have it done a couple of weeks ago when I was last with you, but in true 'I always forget something' fashion, I forgot to bring my light!!!

          Claire
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          • #6
            Last time I looked (I don't normally use lights) anything less than a year old didn't need a PAT test but you have to be able to prove when you bought it.....eg keep the receipt.

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            • #7
              I simply don't use electrical equipment, but it is something I would never have considered.

              Drew
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              • #8
                Originally posted by AnnieAnna View Post
                Last time I looked (I don't normally use lights) anything less than a year old didn't need a PAT test but you have to be able to prove when you bought it.....eg keep the receipt.
                This is right - new items are exempt for one year. Best thing is to sellotape the receipt around the flex or something.

                We don't personally go round checking everyone's lights and extension leads for test certificates, but it is our responsibility to draw to people's attention that it's a legal requirement. There's always the possibility that some Health and Safety inspector will choose to come and have an inspection at the fair.

                It's like all these things - sod's law - you could go for months or years doing everything correctly and nobody inspects you. The one time you forget could be the one time you need it!
                Kate
                www.cuckoos-nest-fairs.co.uk

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