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PAT Testing News Round-Up - Issue 36
28th July 2014

This issue covers:

Electrical product safety round table


Electrical Safety First will be hosting a roundtable on product safety, recalls and traceability, on Tuesday 9th September, at Church House, Westminster, London.

The roundtable – a prelude to Electrical Safety First’s well-established Product Safety Conference, which will take place on November 12th – attracts senior representatives from electrical manufacturers and retailers, as well as delegates from government, trade bodies and related organisations.

Discussions will have an in-depth focus on recall notices – their design, placement and consumers’ reaction to them – as well as methods for improving traceability.

“At our last roundtable, delegates raised concerns around consumer behaviour and how to get members of the public to act on a recall notice”, explains Phil Buckle, Director General of Electrical Safety First.

“Our previous research has shown that almost two million adults have knowingly ignored a recalled electrical item. For improvements to occur, we need the support and input of the entire electrical supply chain. A roundtable event of this nature provides the perfect opportunity to do just that.”

More details at www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk Electrical Safety First will be hosting a roundtable on product safety, recalls and traceability, on Tuesday 9th September, at Church House, Westminster, London.

The roundtable – a prelude to Electrical Safety First’s well-established Product Safety Conference, which will take place on November 12th – attracts senior representatives from electrical manufacturers and retailers, as well as delegates from government, trade bodies and related organisations.

Discussions will have an in-depth focus on recall notices – their design, placement and consumers’ reaction to them – as well as methods for improving traceability.

“At our last roundtable, delegates raised concerns around consumer behaviour and how to get members of the public to act on a recall notice”, explains Phil Buckle, Director General of Electrical Safety First.

“Our previous research has shown that almost two million adults have knowingly ignored a recalled electrical item. For improvements to occur, we need the support and input of the entire electrical supply chain. A roundtable event of this nature provides the perfect opportunity to do just that.”

More details at www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk

Overloaded extension lead causes fire


Another report of a house fire highlights the dangers of overloading of electrical extension leads.

Fire crews in Coventry were called to a property in the city when smoke was seen coming from one of the bedrooms. Whilst the house was unoccupied at the time, a number of pet reptiles and insects kept in the bedroom perished in the blaze.

The local fire and rescue service watch commander, said: “The family’s son kept reptiles. He had snakes, tarantulas, frogs, that kind of thing. There was a lot of extension cords all going into each other.

“With all the heat they just overheated. There was just too much power going through it. He has lost the majority of his pets. There is an important safety message here. What caused the fire was too much power being drawn through the extension lead.

“It’s important that people get the message that they should not overload their power supply.” Full story at www.coventrytelegraph.net

Apollo 600 more than just a PAT tester


We have created a series of videos to demonstrate just how useful the onboard digital camera incorporated in the Apollo 600 can be.

The series of short videos highlight ten different situations where a PAT tester with a camera can make a real difference to working more efficiently and provided an added value electrical appliance safety testing service.

Included among the early examples in the series is the role of the camera in identifying appliances with links to asset IDs, the importance of showing evidence of visual inspections and of repairs, and how the camera can help to record any reasons why testing might not have been possible.

A series of short, informative films on these matters is available here

Report highlights growing counterfeit product problems


An example of the growing threat to safety caused by counterfeit electrical products and appliances comes from the USA.

The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) has released the complete results of its 2014 Counterfeit Electrical Products Survey, which was developed to measure the awareness and response to the presence of counterfeit electrical products among several sectors of the electrical industry.

Over the past decade, US seizures of counterfeit products have increased more than 325%. Consumer electronics were the top commodity seized in 2011, with a value of nearly $40 million. If left undetected, counterfeit electrical products pose significant safety hazards and have been known to cause deaths, injuries and substantial property loss in the home and the workplace.

The ESFI 2014 Counterfeit Electrical Products Survey can be viewed at www.esfi.org.

In the UK, BEAMA has previously estimated that around £30 million of counterfeit electrical products entered the market in 2010, with the www.counterfeit-kills.co.uk website also highlighting that over 15 million counterfeit products have been seized and destroyed in the period 2001 to 2013.

Best practice electrical test training


We offer a wide range of specialist training courses designed to provide all the practical skills and technical knowledge associated with both portable appliance testing and the electrical wiring regulations.

Seaward's Training Centre is City & Guilds approved and all courses are hosted by industry experts capable of providing the very latest electrical sector best practice training and advice.

For installation testing, the three day 17th Edition Wiring Regulations BS7671 (City & Guilds 2382-12) programme is designed to ensure that individuals are fully conversant with the format, content and application of the current electrical test requirements.

Also over three days, the City and Guilds 2377-22 In-Service Inspection and Testing course is designed for those with electrical experience or who are currently carrying out portable appliance testing and who would like to achieve a formal nationally recognised qualification.

Other specialist PAT training options include a one day course dedicated to the 4th Edition of the IET Code of Practice, as well as a range of product specific practical guidance sessions on the Seaward range of electrical testing equipment and software.

All training courses incorporate practical content and all participants receive a certificate to confirm their attendance and completion of their course

For further details visit www.seaward.co.uk/training or call 0191 587 4954

HSE advice for school safety


In a series of web pages the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has provided details of how it believes a sensible approach to health and safety in schools should be maintained by focusing on how the real risks are managed.

The pages recognise that primary schools and ‘traditional’ classrooms in secondary and sixth form colleges are typically lower risk environments, and that risks may increase in design and technology workshops, science laboratories and other areas. A classroom checklist, including some prompts on electrical safety is provided.

The HSE pages emphasise that sensible health and safety management should be straightforward, and be part of good school leadership. Overall it says that safety in schools means doing what is reasonably practicable to reduce significant risks by putting in place control measures to manage the real risks – it is not about the elimination of all risk. Full details at www.hse.gov.uk

Versatile PAT technology supports DRA Electrical growth plans


Versatile electrical safety testing instrumentation is helping a specialist UK PAT company to grow by putting the emphasis on an all round preventative maintenance service.

The Tyneside based DRA Electricals has recently passed the 100,000 PAT tests completed mark and is expanding beyond its traditional North East marketplace by winning new national contracts.

The company’s broad customer base includes all types of organisation and appliance users, from relatively small businesses, to schools, colleges, hotel groups, call centres and large company offices.

To meet the specific needs of each client and the number and type of appliances being used, DRA uses a suite of handheld Seaward PrimeTest PAT testers. All instruments are hand held, extremely lightweight and battery powered for maximum portability.

DRA Electricals director, Richard Ayre, explains: “Our aim is to build a professional relationship with clients by meeting their specific electrical testing needs. Every client is different, with different working environments and with different patterns of appliance use.

“We treat everyone individually and don’t cut corners. We discuss the range of equipment available and parameters of any PAT testing programmes with clients and agree test frequencies that are specific to their own circumstances.

“Having determined what testing is needed, having the right test equipment available to enable us to complete the job efficiently and effectively is essential – and this is where the Seaward testers have been invaluable.”

Where relatively simple electrical testing is required the PrimeTest 100 manual tester provides an immediate pass/fail indication for all the required tests, enabling work to be undertaken quickly. This is especially important when undertaking work in schools and offices, for example.

The PrimeTest 250 has a more comprehensive test range in keeping with the IET Code of Practice, including RCD trip time test, a protective conductor test and touch current. It also includes a 3-phase leakage test and a 250V DC insulation test suitable for testing sensitive electrical appliances and surge protected leads.

Richard Ayre says, “Our aim is to generate long term relationships and repeat business with clients by giving them a reliable and valued PAT service. Having access to the right sort of PAT instrumentation is a major factor in helping us to achieve this aim successfully.”

Do you use Seaward PAT testing equipment? - If you think you may have a story for future e-news bulletins, please let us know by contacting us here.

 

 

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