PAT Testing FAQs from Musicians and DJs


I am a semi-professional musician; do I really need a Portable Appliance Test?

Regardless of whether you are a full time professional musician, someone who performs the odd paid gig once in a while and are therefore semi-pro, or have just started out in the music industry, you are required to make sure your electrical equipment is safe for use. You are legally obligated to ensure that your electrical appliances comply with current Health and Safety, and Electrical Safety legislation and the most effective way to do this is to have regular PAT Testing (PAT test) carried out. While not a legal requirement in itself, a Portable Appliance Test is the best way to ensure your appliances work safely.

I am new to playing at gigs, what is PAT testing?

Portable Appliance Testing (PAT testing) is made up of two parts and designed to give the most comprehensive inspection of your equipment possible. The first stage is visual inspections of the flex, plug casing, wiring, fuse and appliance casing. This is in order to see how much damage, if any, has been done to the appliance, particularly looking for example of over-heating, dodgy wiring or the wrong fuse being used. The second stage features electrical testing via a PAT machine and will determine whether the electricity is flowing normally. It will also check that the appliance is as safe as possible.

I only use acoustic instruments; do I need Portable Appliance Testing?

If your instrument is acoustic then it does not need a PAT test as it is for electrical equipment and appliances only. However, if you perform with microphones, amps, lighting or sound equipment, then you will need to have these appliances tested for electrical safety. If you play a Keyboard, Rhodes Piano, Electric Guitar etc. then you must make sure your instrument is safe to perform on.

Will I lose out on gigs if I do not have Portable Appliance Testing carried out?

As more and more companies are becoming aware of their responsibilities under electrical safety legislation for the workplace, it is now a serious risk to performers that their gig will be cancelled if they fail to adhere to safety regulations. If you have your equipment PAT tested and they pass successfully then this problem is a thing of the past.

How much of my DJ equipment needs to have a PAT test?

Given that DJs use a wide variety of electrical equipment, you will have to have comprehensive PAT Testing for anything which runs off mains power and is plugged into any equipment which does. This includes amplifiers, CD players, mixers, samplers, speakers, cables, keyboards, synthesizers etc. All of which must be marked as safe before being used in a performance.

Why are venues being so strict with Musicians and DJs?

Venues need to ensure that all electrical appliances that they use on their premises, or that they allow to be used, is compliant with current safety standards. If they allow a performance with equipment that causes electrical or fire damage to anyone then they will be held liable for the incident. As venues do not wish to be sued, or for injuries or damage to occur, they are making sure that the musicians they hire have PAT Testing on their equipment.

How likely is it that my equipment will be damaged during Portable Appliance Testing?

Musical equipment is often highly sensitive, valuable and carries sentimental attachment. Therefore it would not be a recommendation for musicians and DJs to subject their equipment to a potentially dangerous test. The Portable Appliance Test is completely safe for musical equipment which is why it is so strongly recommended by anyone who works in the music industry professionally.

How do I start the process of getting PAT testing?

If you need to have PAT Testing performed on your musical equipment, then simply fill out the online form and My London Tradesmen will contact companies on your behalf. You will then be supplied with up to 3 quotes, leaving you to make an informed decision regarding which tradesman to employ based on the quotes you have received.

All of the tradesmen we use have received up to date training and are registered with all the necessary bodies. We only use reputable and trustworthy tradesmen.

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