One of the most important things we have to do before hiring out equipment is to check that it is safe and in good working order. We regularly have our gas catering hire equipment tested by a Gas Safe engineer, while our electrical equipment is PAT tested. But what does that mean? We’ve put together this little blog to explain to you just how keep our customers safe.
Electrical Hire Equipment and PAT
PAT stands for “Portable Appliance Testing” and is the name for the process where electrical equipment is routinely checked for safety. The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 requires that all electrical systems including appliances are maintained to prevent danger, and while it does not specifically obligate inspections it does impose a requirement of providing evidence of routine maintenance for all portable and plug-in equipment.
Our in-house warehouse staff routinely check electrical equipment to ensure that it works in a safe manner and performs maintenance when needed. This is done using a piece of equipment called a PAT tester. The PAT tester is plugged into the mains and the equipment plugs into the tester, so that the current can be tested.
The equipment tests two things. It checks that the equipment is properly earthed and that it is insulated. If there are any issues, our staff will open equipment up and replace wiring as necessary. Once the equipment is okay, we put a sticker on the plug with the date the last PAT test was performed so that our customers can see and provide evidence if needed at their event.
Even though we are very stringent with our testing, it’s worth noting a couple of things. When receiving equipment, it’s wise to check the cable from the plug to where it enters the equipment to see if it has been damaged in transit as this can very occasionally occur. Likewise, if using a power source that is not mains such as a generator, then it’s important to ask for PAT testing certification for that too to protect yourself.
Gas Hire Equipment and Gas Safe Checks
LPG equipment has to be tested by a certified Gas Safe Engineer on a regular basis. Our equipment is tested and certified by a Gas Safe Engineer and certification can be supplied on request once stock has been allocated to an order.
The essence of what the Gas Safe engineer checks is similar to an electrical test. The engineer will check that the equipment is working as it should, that there are no leaks of gas and that all connections are of the require safe standard. This is important as incorrect working appliances not only can leak gas but can cause a build-up of poisonous gases such as carbon monoxide.
When using gas catering equipment hire it’s important that you take precautions to make sure that you are using the equipment safely. When attaching the equipment to the cylinder, it’s important to use a spanner to tighten the nut as far possible as hand-tight is not tight enough.
Likewise, it’s important to use the equipment as it should be used. We can supply manuals for all gas equipment on request – if you are unsure, please ask. We recommend that if you do not feel comfortable attaching the equipment to the gas bottle that you utilise the services of a Gas Safe engineer.
If any hire equipment is not working in the way it should, it’s important that you contact us immediately. Trying to fix equipment yourself can cause further problems to the equipment which is not good for anyone. It’s always better to leave maintenance and repair to the professionals – and the sooner you contact us the better.