What Needs to be PAT Tested?

PAT testing stands for ‘Portable Appliance Testing’ and is mandatory for every business using electrical equipment of any kind in order to reduce the risk of faults and lower the chances of a fire.

Faulty electricals are one of the most common causes of commercial fires in the UK, so it’s imperative that you know which appliances need to be tested in your workplace.
There’s no specific law that dictates that PAT testing should be carried out, but there are several regulations that cover the need for your premises to meet safety requirements – including the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989.

PAT Testing 101

It’s not only portable items that require testing. Items that need testing – and the kind of testing that they will need – are decided by three different classes and seven categories.
Class 1 means it requires a full PAT testing, Class 2 means it requires a PAT insulation test and Class 3 means it doesn’t need testing at all (though charging cables may need to be). The categories of items that require testing are:

– Fixed appliances
– Stationary appliances
– IT appliances
– Moveable appliances
– Portable appliances
– Cables and chargers
– Handheld appliances

In order to help you protect your employees and comply with government regulations as a business – we’ve put together a list of the common items found in different business sectors that may require testing.


There are plenty of manual tools and materials on a construction site as well as plenty of handheld items. These should all have regular testing to ensure they are in good working order electrically. Some common construction site items that require PAT testing are:

– Power tools
– Power cables
– Charging systems
– Site kitchen appliances
– Fridges
– Ovens
– Heaters
– Lighting


Office spaces are usually filled with all kinds of electrical items and appliances. It can be a varied and eclectic mix dependent upon the industry and the personality of the business, but here are some commonly used items in offices to have PAT tested:
– Computers
– Laptop cables
– Photocopiers
– Floor standing printers
– Electric heaters
– Kettles
– Extension leads
– Microwaves
– Toasters
– Fridges

Healthcare Facilities

Again, different facilities have different appliances, but there’s often a wide range of more complex equipment. The following are just a few items to think about for care home or hospital PAT testing:

– Computers and monitors
– Televisions
– Defibrillators
– Electric beds and chairs
– Heart rate monitors
– Electric scales
– Pumps
– Hoists

For staff, patients and the general public, fire safety should be a top priority for hospitals and medical facilities. A risk assessment can help to identify any potential fire safety risks.

Warehouses might be predominantly used for storage, but electrical equipment is usually always present and should be PAT tested to reduce the risk of faults that could cause a fire. Some common items in warehouses for PAT testing are:

– Telephones
– Floor standing printers
– Portable tools
– Charging cables
– Extension leads
Warehouses and factories should be extra vigilant about fire safety, especially when you are working with large equipment and machinery.


There might not be as much specialist equipment as an office, but schools do contain plenty of electrical equipment and devices and accidental damage to such objects is much more likely due to the high numbers of young children daily. See the following list of examples of common items in a school that need PAT testing:

– Televisions
– Computers and monitors
– Extension leads
– Photocopiers
– Floor standing printers
– Crating appliances
– Glue guns
– Sewing machines
– Kitchen appliances
– Fridges
– Ovens
– Heaters

This is by no means an exhaustive list of items that require PAT testing, but it should give you a good idea of the kinds of things you’re looking for. Your fire safety risk assessment should include a full list of every item in your workplace that requires regular PAT testing. If you’re unsure about whether your business requires PAT testing, or if you’d like to arrange for PAT testing at your premises, simply contact our team today.