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.

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

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.

How often should fixed wire testing be conducted?

The vast majority of workplaces require an Electrical Installation Condition Report at the very least every 5 years for commercial properties and 3 years for industrial.

The Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) produced guidance note 3 which incorporates the 18th edition IET wiring regulations to BS 7671. It is section 3 of this guidance which covers Electrical Periodic Inspection and Testing.

Veriserv are the experts in fixed wire inspection and testing and we can survey your premises, examine previous reports, look at your maintenance regime and recommend the correct frequency of tests to make sure your business is safe and compliant. Business electrical units should be correctly maintained to stay compliant.

As an example the following places of work require a full 5-year Electrical Installation Condition Report.

  • Hotels / restaurants
  • Education sector – Schools, Colleges, Universities / Hall of Residence
  • Care homes
  • Hospitals
  • Commercial buildings such as offices / retail
  • Science laboratories

There are places of work however which require an Electrical Installation Condition Report every 1 to 3 years with more frequent inspections being carried out.  This is the cases where areas are exposed to high temperatures, moisture and dust.

As an example the following places of work all require fixed wire testing every 1 to 3 years:

  • Swimming pools / sauna / leisure centres
  • Theatres and places of entertainment.
  • Medical locations in hospitals
  • Caravan parks
  • Fish farms
  • Laundrettes
  • Petrol stations
  • Caravans
  • Spa Hotels

If you are unsure about your fixed wire inspection and testing and when it should next be carried out within your business, simply fill out our contact form to book your free assessment, or call 01543 225306 to speak to a member of our team.

Is Fixed Wire Inspection & Testing in the UK a Legal Requirement?

The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 is an act of statutory legislation which places responsibility on employers in the UK to ensure, so far as is practicable, the health and welfare for everyone at the workplace which includes employees, members of the public, visitors and contractors.

Within the Health & Safety at Work Act there are areas which cover legal requirements for specific areas and this is where Fixed Wire Inspection & Testing comes in. The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 cover all electrical systems within all occupied spaces.

Best practice guidance for complying with the regulations have been published by bodies other than the Health & Safety Executive. For this case Fixed Wiring Inspection & Testing includes:

  • British Standard BS7671 – Requirements for Electrical Installations, IET Wiring Regulations
  • IET Inspection & Testing Guidance Note 3
  • HSE Electricity at Work – Safe working Practices
  • HSE memorandum of guidance on the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989

The latest version of the regulations, which were first published in 2018, are known in the industry as the 18th Edition Wiring Regulations, which came into effect on 1st January 2019. All electrical installations following this regulation must be installed / maintained following BS 7671:2018. The purpose of the regulation is to prevent death or personal injury to any person from electrical causes in connection with work activities. Failure to comply to BS 7671:2018 obviously means an employer could be potentially exposed to legal action should an incident occur.

 

 

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 installations and employ Veriserv as your contractor for all your electrical fixed wire inspection and testing.

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

Portable Appliance Testing why do it

Portable Appliance Testing why do it , In the work place all portable electrical equipment should be subject to ‘User Checks’ carried out by a competent person. As an employer its very important to protect people in premises that you control from electric shock, fire and other hazards. Its also very important to protect yourself and your company from prosecution should an accident occur which is not your fault.

The examples shown in this blog were all identified by Veriserv engineers and demonstrate how your employees could negatively effect safety in your workplace. In other words, employees who ignore the basic principles of electrical safety could land you and others in trouble.

The first example of portable appliance testing why do it, shows a standard 13amp plug where the fuse has been replaced with a peace of metal bar. A correctly rated fuse will blow if the portable appliance develops a fault. This in turn protects the user from potential electric shock and would prevent the possibility of the appliance overheating and causing a fire.

Someone has deliberately replaced the fuse with the bar which is totally irresponsible, given that the appliance is no longer protected at the rated 13 amps. Given the size of the cables it may be that the appliance itself should be connected by a different means to a 13 amp plug. A competent portable appliance test engineer will check ratings and advise accordingly and a veriserv engineer would also disconnect the appliance and issue an immediate report to advise our customer.

This second example was found plugged in and switched on with live conductors showing.

 

Again this is an example where it would be clear to a responsible person that this extension lead is not fit for use.

The third example is another broken extension lead being used in service which clearly exposes people to an electric shock hazard.

Both faults were found by Veriserv engineers during annual portable appliance testing (PAT) and these examples reinforce the importance of maintaining a proper testing regime to protect people in your premises.

Ideally, equipment which has an obvious visual fault should be switched off and taken out of service by an employee or person acting responsibly in the workplace. Only very basic health & Safety training is required to achieve this.

In any event, in the workplace it should not be acceptable for a defect to go unnoticed, therefore the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) recommend that formal visual inspections are undertaken periodically by a competent person to identify these hazardous items.

All Veriserv PAT engineers are qualified to the City & Guilds 2377 Level 3 award in the in service inspection and testing of electrical equipment (PAT)

If you need advice on Portable Appliance Testing please feel free to request a quotation or call Veriserv directly on: 01543 225306.

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(1)

If you need advice on Portable Appliance Testing please feel free to request a quotati