Pictured above: Alan Moore, PAST Ltd.
Health and safety officials could put a damper on Christmas for many shops and businesses in the West Midlands this year if they decide to crack down on untested fairy lights and Father Xmas figures.
All portable electric appliances used on business premises need to have a PAT (portable appliance test) certificate from a qualified tester. If they are not in place when inspectors call, fines can be huge, especially if they find faults or discover the tests themselves have been “short circuited” by simply having a sticker put on the appliance.
“There’s a serious side to this, because a huge number of fires are started each Christmas by faulty electrical decorations,” said the UK’s leading qualified testor and authority on the subject, Alan Moore.
“People leave them on in shops and offices and they catch fire. Christmas also sees many people getting shocks through faulty wiring.”
Alan, who heads Tamworth, Staffordshire-based PAST Ltd, revealed that a large number of businesses were being fooled by industry “cowboys” into believing appliances were tested, leaving them open to fines and a fire risk.
Companies will also discover their insurance voided if appliances are not tested, a fire occurs or someone gets a shock.
“Most companies know about PAT but many chose to ignore it until it is too late; or think they’re covered because someone has simply placed a sticker on the appliance,” said Alan.
“The appliance connecting wire has to be tested properly to ensure it is properly wired up to the appliance and plug. “Information about PAT testing and PAST, can be found on www.pastltd.co.uk or telephone 01827 60050.
For local businesses PAST has now opened a walk-in testing centre, which will test appliances and issue certificates if they are not faulty. The company already looks after testing for hundreds of UK companies, storing information about the tests and the appliance location at the time of testing, which aids insurance claims.”Testing by our qualified engineers only takes minutes, but can save an awful lot of money, inconvenience and time,” added Alan.