If you are getting ready to head off to university, you may be wondering what you need to pack for a year-long stay at halls of residence.
You’ll be bringing a wide range of electrical equipment with you, from laptops and smart speakers to hairdryers and mobile phone chargers.
When you’re in close quarters with other students, it’s important to make sure that any electrical equipment you bring from home is safe.
Here’s what you need to know about PAT testing for students at uni.
What is PAT testing?
PAT testing (or electrical equipment testing) is a series of checks carried out on electrical equipment to make sure it is safe to use. If equipment is safe to use, it will receive a label to say that it has been tested and is compliant.
Any electrical equipment that plugs into a power source needs PAT testing. This includes items like laptops, monitors, games consoles, and hair straighteners.
Why is PAT testing needed at university halls of residence?
When you move into halls of residence, you need to make sure that all the electrical equipment you bring is in a safe condition. PAT testing is one of the best ways to do this as it not only checks the visual appearance of the equipment, but tests it internally too.
Halls of residence have a lot of students close to one another. If a faulty piece of equipment causes a fire, it can quickly spread through campus, causing not only damage, but the potential loss of life.
International students may bring electrical equipment that operates on a different supply voltage and frequency to the UK. This increases the risk of fire and electric shock.
Many universities request that electrical equipment is PAT tested to ensure that it is safe. They may ask that all equipment is checked, or equipment over a certain age.
If this is the case, keep your receipts to show that your electrical equipment is under this age.
What you need to do when it comes to PAT testing at university
Different universities have different policies when it comes to PAT testing electrical equipment:
- Some universities don’t require PAT testing to be carried out, but will take action if they believe your electrical equipment is dangerous
- Some universities may ask you to get your equipment PAT tested before you move into student halls of residence
- Some universities may hold PAT testing sessions, where you bring your electrical equipment to an area where an electrician tests it
- Some universities may have an electrician come into halls of residence and test equipment in student rooms. They’ll have a list, so they’ll know what equipment is yours and what belongs to the university
There may be a charge for the last two options, or the cost may be included in your halls of residence fees.
Which UK universities need a PAT test?
It varies from university to university.
We’d recommend reading your halls of residence terms and conditions when you’re accepted to see what you need to do. If you’re still not sure, email your designated contact for clarification.