Portable appliance testing commonly known as PAT is used to describe the examination of electrical appliance checking that they are still safe to use. These tests include visual examination and then on to testing which may discover possible faults that cannot be identified by just simply looking at the appliance. The methods of testing are dependent on the type of appliance being used and the environment in which it is used.
Portable appliances are appliances that can be moved. They can be connected or disconnected from a power supply. They will generally have a lead and plug. A plug is a constant source of problems for electrical appliances and needs to be visually checked and tested along with the appliance itself. Examples of portable appliances are kettles, vacuum cleaners, fans, heaters, irons and toasters. It can also include larger items such as fridges, photocopiers, fax machines and desktop computers. Mains leads and extension leads are sometimes overlooked but these also fall into the portable appliance category.