What is Class 2FE?

In October 2020 the IET published the 5th Edition of the Code of Practice for the ‘In Service Inspection & Test of Electrical Equipment’ This also covers electrical PAT testing.

A number of updates have been introduced including a new ‘Class’ of appliance, Class 2 FE.

These items fulfill the requirements of Class 2 (Double Insulated) though use an earth for functional purposes. A good example of one of these items is a Laptop Power supply.

There are now 4 classes of appliance;

  • Class 1
  • Class II or Class 2
  • Class 11 FE
  • Class III or Class 3

What are the intervals for checking Portable Electrical Equipment or Electrical PAT testing?

Each item has a different construction and therefore following risk assessment may have a different frequency for the planned formal inspection and electrical PAT testing.

The Health and Safety Executive suggest the following electrical PAT testing intervals for checking portable electrical equipment dependant on the environment they are placed:

  • Desktop computers, VDU screen every 2-4 years.
  • Photocopiers and fax machines, not hand held and rarely moved 2-4 years.
  • Double insulated Class 2 equipment, not hand-held and moved occasionally like fans table lamps 2-4 years.
  • Double insulated Class 2 & 2FE equipment, hand-held like floor cleaners, kitchen equipment 6 months – 1 year.
  • Earthed equipment Class I like electric kettles, irons 6 months – 1 year.
  • Cables (leads and plugs connected to the above) and mains voltage extension leads and battery charging equipment. 6 months – 4 years depending on the equipment being used.

If you have a question or a concern about a electrical PAT testing for your appliances, please call 01543 225306, or fill out one of our contact forms to arrange a free assessment of your premises, with one of our fully trained electrical engineers.

Useful references:

IET 5th Edition of the Code of Practice for the ‘In Service Inspection & Test of Electrical Equipment’

What is an electrical installation report (EICR) and why would I need one with electrical inspection and testing?

What is an EICR?

This acronym stands for Electrical Installation Condition Report and it is an official document that is presented to a business following electrical inspection and testing.

What types of testing are carried out during an EICR?

A Verisev fully qualified electrical engineer will carry out a vast range of electrical inspection and testing before a EICR is generated.

Each circuit will be isolated and electrical tests will be carried out to make sure that each one is safe. If there are any issues these will be mentioned in the EICR.

All the hardwiring of your premises must be checked to give a detailed EICR for electrical inspection and testing. Items to inspect include main panels, distribution boards, air conditioning, power sockets etc.

Once the electrical inspection and testing is complete the EICR will formally document the findings from the qualified engineer that conducted the inspection. Any faults or issues will be added and addressed with you to reduce the risk. Remedial work will be discussed with you on site to make sure you are up and running and compliant with no downtime. The actions in the EICR aren’t legally binding however should your electrical system have a fault causing an accident to someone and the EICR highlights areas that you didn’t action that could have prevented it from occurring your business could be prosecuted.

 

How Often Should a EICR be Carried Out?

Our fully qualified engineers will give you and your business the guidance and advice to keep safe and compliant from the electrical inspection and testing. The frequency of EICRs depends upon many items from what ways electrical systems are used and how often. Maintenance is a crucial element and we will be able to see how well an electrical item has been maintained and when it was professionally tested / inspected.

Does the EICR demonstrate Electrical Compliance?

An employer or duty holder can demonstrate compliance with the regulations in respect to their electrical installation in the form of an up to date Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) which has been checked and completed by a qualified electrical engineer. Today, many insurers wish to see evidence of a company being compliant and this can be easily carried out by reading the EICR report.

Make sure you are compliant with your electrical inspection and testing and employ Veriserv as your contractor for all your electrical fixed wire inspection and testing.

If you require fixed wire testing, or any electrical inspection and testing within your business or want to discuss the EICR with us simply fill out our contact form to book your free assessment, or call 01543 225306 to speak to a member of our team.

Customer Service Co-ordinator

Veriserv, one of the U.K’s leading compliance specialists, are looking for a Service Coordinator to join our high performing team in Cannock, Staffordshire on a full-time, permanent basis. As a member of the Service Team, you will be operating as the first point of contact for one of our largest clients.

You will be responsible for the day to day management of customer orders from receipt through to delivery ensuring engineers are scheduled in a timely manner and customer reports are issued within due dates.

You will need to liaise with client sites, customer service team, technical team and the finance team to achieve the customer’s requirements on time.

The role will be working from Monday to Friday between 08:30-17:00 Monday to Friday

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • To administer the customers maintenance schedule
  • To plan engineer’s diary for key customer
  • To manage customer queries and complaints
  • To work closely with technical and finance teams to support engineer productivity
  • To positively contribute to the delivery of service excellence to our customers

Key Skills

  • Highly organised with excellent administration skills
  • Ability to prioritise workload in a very busy environment
  • Strong decision-making skills
  • Strong attention to detail/accuracy
  • Good team player, can do attitude, willing and positive manner
  • Professional telephone manner
  • Proactive and reactive nature
  • Experience with Microsoft Office applications
  • Ability to champion the customer’s requirements at all times

The ideal candidate will be enthusiastic, show dedication to the job in hand, and work hard to deliver it efficiently, previous experience of scheduling engineer’s diaries and proven client liaison skills, would be advantageous.

Click here to apply – Remember to insert the VACANCY CODE: Service Coordinator and select ‘Advertised Vacancy’ when applying for this particular role to enable us to process your application.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

What is a thermographic survey and why should you routinely undertake them?

Thermographic surveys detect abnormally high temperatures and are a non-disruptive way of inspecting installations, so your business operation isn’t affected.

What are the reasons for high temperatures?

  • A fault with the equipment
  • Overloading sockets in your workplace
  • Loose connections
  • The age of the equipment – gradual wear and tear.

Why should you undertake a thermographic survey?

These surveys help you identify hot spots in electrical systems that you might not be able to see and makes sure that they are running safely. With a thermographic survey, you can rest assured that any faults are dealt with and, as it is non-disruptive in nature, there is no down time for you to be affected by.

What does a Thermal image look like?

Based on infrared radiation, thermal images will have a range of colours. The hottest areas of the thermal image from the thermographic survey will be yellow in colour, the coolest will appear in blue.

 

How often should Thermographic inspections be carried out?

The Institute of Electrical Engineers (IEE) recommend routine inspections to the electrical installation between the formal periodic inspections. Thermographic surveys of critical parts for an installation could mean they have to be isolated in order for them to be inspected. This would obviously cause disruption however, a routine thermographic inspection of these parts will help your business to run and could identify underlying defects which in turn could lead to a failure of the electrical supply. This shows how important it is to have thermographic inspections routinely incorporated in to the maintenance schedules to stay safe.

What can a Thermographic inspection survey?

We can inspect any electrical system or equipment that you might have a concern about. Items include:

  • LV transformers
  • Control panels
  • Cable runs & terminals
  • Motor and pumps
  • Heating, ventilation and air conditioning panels
  • Electrical distribution boards
  • Main panel boards
  • Power busbars
  • Electrical risers and tap off units
  • Essential power
  • Generators

Who will carry out a thermographic inspection at Veriserv?

Themographic surveys are carried out by our experienced electrically qualified inspection and test engineers. Analysis will be undertaken during the survey and action will be taken immediately if an issue arises or is reported on.

Please call 01543 225306 or fill out one of our contact forms to discuss our service levels and to run a thermographic inspection for your business. Talk to us today so we can keep you and your business safe.

How to check that your electrical installations are compliant

Keeping your electrical installations compliant should be of paramount importance for any business owner. Making sure your business is compliant and has all of the correct certificates will not only keep you and your employees safe but eliminate any threat of legal action should the worst happen. There are a number of ways that you can check to make sure you are compliant to BS 7671 for your electrical systems:

  • You should have an EICR, electrical installation condition report that you can refer to. If the report shows any ‘unsatisfactory’ levels, then you should have been made aware of the remedial work that needs to be carried out to rectify it.
  • If remedial works or other modifications have been undertaken to your installation you may have Minor Works or Electrical Installation certificates to keep on record demonstrating your compliance.

 

 

If you are not sure if your business is compliant and up-to-date with a fixed wire testing and inspection please call 01543 225306 or fill out one of our contact forms and we can assist

Emergency Lighting Testing – Is your Business up to date?

Emergency lighting should be tested regularly to ensure it is compliant and works correctly, allowing occupants to safely evacuate a building in the event of an emergency.

Are your emergency lights operating or compliant with current regulations?

This maybe a question you ask yourself from time to time, but ensuring your emergency lighting fully performs in the event of an emergency is crucial for compliance with statutory requirements and to give you peace of mind.

Monthly emergency lighting tests:

All emergency lighting systems must be tested monthly. The test is a short functional test in accordance with BS EN 50172 / BS 5266-8.

The period of simulated failure should be sufficient for the purpose of this test while minimising damage to the system components, e.g. lamps. During this period, all luminaires and signs shall be checked to ensure that they are present, clean and functioning correctly.

Annual emergency lighting tests:

A test for the full rated duration of the emergency lights (e.g. 3 hours) must be carried out. The emergency lights must still be working at the end of this test.

The result of the monthly and annual tests must be recorded and, if failures are detected, these must be remedied as soon as possible.

How can Veriserv help you?

Carrying out routine inspections to your emergency light installation is just part of the service that we offer. Veriserv offer various service levels of inspection that will ensure compliance, functionality and maintainability of your installation.

What is incorporated in the various service levels?

All inspections involve basic functional tests whereby the emergency light installation undergoes a “drop test”.  This test ensures that all fittings are operated in emergency mode and remain operative for the required duration.

A number of other checks are routinely undertaken including the inspection of batteries or other backup supplies and compliance with current regulations.

Depending on the service level required, Veriserv will;

  • Inspect at agreed intervals from monthly through to annually
  • Undertake remedial repairs to ensure the system remains fully functional
  • Provide a log book and ensure it is kept fully up to date
  • Up date as fitted floor plan drawings in AutoCad format
  • Provide certification & a full inventory report
  • Provide expert advice on continued compliance without blowing your budget
  • Label light fittings & switches to aid scheduled testing and remedial works

Emergency lighting is incredibly important to keep you and your employees safe. If you have any questions or would like us to arrange an assessment of your premises, please call 01543 225306, or fill out one of our contact forms

Does Your Fire Alarm Need A Service?

UK fire alarm regulations only state that your fire alarm system must be ‘adequately maintained’, however BS 5839 recommends that a fire alarm system should be inspected by a competent person at least every 6 months and the government recommends following this standard.  In fact, if you work out of large premises, a quarterly service is recommended, as there are many more components to your fire alarm system, and therefore more opportunities for something to go wrong.

Veriserv offer a full fire alarm service programme which complies with British Standard 5839. You can be confident that we will keep your fire alarm in good working order and compliant to current legislation.

Single systems or multi-site, we can service any make or type of fire alarm system, providing you with certification for your records.

Why is fire alarm servicing important?

There are two main reasons to keep your fire alarm in working order:

  1. To alert occupants in the event of fire and so prevent loss of life
  2. To prevent false alarms

Whilst the first reason may seem obvious, the second reason is less well known.  The fact is that false alarms account for a huge number of fire brigade call-outs.  This incurs a lot of expense and, more importantly, could mean that the fire brigade is otherwise occupied when a real emergency arises.  The fire brigade has now imposed charges for call-outs at premises which have a high number of false alarms, as an incentive for businesses to keep their fire alarms better maintained.

Fire Alarm Testing

When our technician has completed the service of your fire alarm system, he will test it to check that it is working correctly and ensure that the bells/sounders reach the required decibel sound levels.

Have you already got a maintenance regime in place?

Are you not happy with this service?

Veriserv can test your systems and provide you with a report to detail any deficiencies. We are happy to take over existing systems after agreeing any system improvements that may be required to bring these systems up the required standards.

If you have any concerns about your fire alarm system, please call 01543 225306, or fill out one of our contact forms to arrange a free assessment of your premises, with one of our fully trained engineers.

The types of fire extinguishers and the importance of them to reduce the risk of fire

Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRO), business principles and responsible people have a duty to protect people in the event of a fire.

The responsible person would generally be the owner, landlord or business director or even a member of staff who is delegated with responsibility for fire safety.

Fire extinguishers are essential equipment to help fight a fire should one breakout. A visual inspection should be carried out together with a periodic maintenance programme. A competent person who is qualified by training and has the experience to undertake the inspections and maintenance should carry out regular visual inspections of all the fire extinguishers within a property.

BS5306:3 Code of Practice for Fire Extinguisher Service and Maintenance provides recommendations on how to conduct a visual inspection. The points are as follows:

  • Each extinguisher is correctly located in the designated place;
  • Each extinguisher is unobstructed and visible;
  • The operating instructions of each extinguisher are clean and
    legible and face outwards.
  • Each extinguisher has not been operated and is not obviously
    damaged or has any missing parts.
  • The reading of any pressure gauge or indicator fitted to an
    extinguisher is within operational and safety limits.
  • The seals and tamper indicators of each extinguisher are not
    broken or missing.

There are four classes of fire extinguishers – A, B, C and D – and each class can put out a different type of fire.

  • Class A extinguishers will put out fires in ordinary combustibles such as wood and paper.
  • Class B extinguishers are for use on flammable liquids like grease, gasoline and oil.
  • Class C extinguishers are suitable for use only on electrically energised fires.
  • Class D extinguishers are designed for use on flammable metals.

If you employ 5 or more people records should be kept and it is a legal requirement to maintain a permanent record of all servicing, maintenance and inspections which could be audited by the Fire Services Inspectorate.

We can review your existing provision for extinguishers and provide you with a suitable service and maintenance programme to ensure you comply with current fire regulations. We can also carry out a full fire risk assessment of your business premises if required. This would, for example, include Fire Alarm Systems, Escape routes, Extinguishers and signage.

Please call 01543 225306 or fill out one of our contact forms to arrange a free fire risk assessment of your premises, to discuss your fire prevention needs, or to arrange a maintenance programme. Speak to one of our fully trained engineers today.

How frequently should I PAT test my appliances?

Employers, landlords and people that are self-employed are required to run PAT testing on portable appliances. There isn’t a rule on the frequency of PAT testing which the Health & Safety Executive has set out, the main reason for this is that different situations require different measures.

It is up to each individual to determine and asses when the testing should be carried out to keep their workforce, tenants and themselves safe.

You should bear in mind a few different factors when determining how often you should have your appliances tested:

  • Stationary equipment is less likely to get damaged than hand help types of appliances therefore the type is a factor to consider to determine the frequency. Class I appliances have a greater risk over Class II.
  • How often the appliances are used. This may be common sense but appliances that are used more should be test more often. Appliances that aren’t used so often will obviously incur less damage and have a lower risk.
  • If appliances aren’t properly maintained / serviced, then PAT testing should be more frequent. Problems could go unnoticed which could cause a potential risk to somebody.
  • The location of the equipment is also an important factor to consider. Is it outdoors, construction sites, hazardous atmospheres etc.)
  • If the equipment is on hire, then PAT testing frequency should be increased to make sure it is safe to run.
  • Manufacturers guidelines & recommendations.
  • If there have been any equipment modification or repairs since the last PAT test.

 

 

The Health and Safety Executive suggest the following intervals for checking portable electrical equipment:

  • Desktop computers, VDU screen every 2-4 years.
  • Photocopiers and fax machines, not hand held and rarely moved 2-4 years.
  • Double insulated Class II equipment, not hand-held and moved occasionally like fans table lamps 2-4 years.
  • Double insulated Class II equipment, hand-held like floor cleaners, kitchen equipment 6 months – 1 year.
  • Earthed equipment Class I like electric kettles, irons 6 months – 1 year.
  • Cables (leads and plugs connected to the above) and mains voltage extension leads and battery charging equipment. 6 months – 4 years depending on the equipment being used.

If you have a question or a concern about a PAT for your appliances, please call 01543 225306, or fill out one of our contact forms to arrange a free assessment of your premises, with one of our fully trained electrical engineers.

Useful references:

The Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) publish guidance for the maintenance of portable appliances

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) provide useful guidance on Portable Appliance Testing

IET Code of Practice for In-service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment Chapter 15.8

Provision & Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 Regulation 5
The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989, Regulation 4(2)

When should you call an electrical engineer?

It is absolutely critical that your business stays up-to-date with electrical testing. Whether that is fixed wire or portable appliance testing (PAT testing) it is important to make sure you are compliant to protect your employees from electrical fires and to eliminate any opportunity of criminal negligence should the worst happen.

A periodic inspection of the wiring for your business premises reduces the risk of electrical fires and makes sure everything is running as it should be. You should arrange periodic inspections by calling us at Veriserv as we have electrical engineers available every day to assist with this matter. But when else should you call?

  • If there is anything unusual with the electricity

Electricity is of course dangerous and invisible and as a result it is easy for wiring flaws to be missed until a safety hazard occurs such as an electrical fire, sparks from a unit, or a power cut. If you can see lights flickering or dim and brighten or if you have breakers that trip regularly or if you see sparks from a unit you should immediately call an electrical engineer to inspect the issue.

If you see an electrical item has discoloured or is hot to the touch this should also raise suspicion.

  • A burning smell

Whenever you smell burning you should immediately unplug any appliance in the vicinity and call an electrical engineer immediately. Burning smells don’t just have to come from portable appliances but can be an indicator that your building wiring is faulty too.

  • Electricity outlets

We are constantly seeing issues arising with extension leads in businesses. When businesses employee more people, inevitably the power that is required increases and as a result the reliance on extension cables goes up if there aren’t enough wall sockets. Extension leads can put a lot of load on a building’s wiring if they are overused and they can even catch on fire. Call us at Veriserv so we can avoid such incidences from happening and to protect your workforce.

You should call an electrical engineer whenever you feel there is an issue no matter how small you think it is. There can often be many underlying issues when not running suitable diagnostic checks by an engineer and they can quickly turn dangerous.

If you have some concerns about your premises, please call 01543 225306, or fill out one of our contact forms to arrange a free assessment of your premises, with one of our fully trained electrical engineers.