Why get a Musical Portable Appliance Test?

If you are a professional musician then you will probably be aware of the legislation regarding electrical appliance safety and the need to have a Portable Appliance Test performed regularly on your musical equipment. For those who are semi-professional or new to live performances and earning an income from playing music, you may be unaware of these regulations. The reason why legislation such as the Electrical Equipment (safety) Regulations (1994) and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (1999) applies to you is that because a gig is (usually) a paid event, this, in the eyes of the government, makes your performance venue your place of work in the same way as if you were employed in an office and working on a computer.

The Problem: Electrical Equipment Safety

It is now a common problem for musicians that they face the possibility of being turned away by venue staff for not being able to provide the necessary documentation to prove that they are complying with electrical equipment safety regulations. Venues will simply not risk any fines and penalties for violating legal requirements for the sake of one gig, regardless of how good you may be. They have a duty to ensure that all electrical equipment used on their property, even temporarily, is safe and will not cause harm to anyone.

The Answer: A Portable Appliance Test

The most simple and cost effective method of satisfying your health and safety obligations to yourself, your audience and your employers is to commission a Portable Appliance Test for all of your musical equipment. The portable appliance test is designed to cover all of the requirements specified in the various pieces of government legislation. This has essentially made the Portable Appliance Test an unspecified necessity in order to ensure electrical safety.

Part One: The Visual Test

Realising that musical equipment is often very expensive and can carry sentimental attachment, it is important for you to know how a Portable Appliance Test will be carried out and the nature of the tests being performed. The test actually consists of two phases. Phase one will feature visual inspections of the equipment, the flex, the plug casing, the wiring of the plug and the fuse. These simple checks will go a long way in determining how safe the equipment is because there may be cracks in the protective casing; incorrect wiring; an incorrect fuse being used or even overheating occurring. All of the aforementioned issues would make the appliance unsafe for general use and cause it to fail the test.

Part Two: The Electrical Test

In the second phase of the test, the appliance will be plugged into a Portable Appliance Testing machine and inspected in a variety of ways to make sure the device is working properly with an even electrical current and no danger of electrocution to anyone who uses it. The severity of this part of the test will depend largely on the chances of the appliance having developed a fault and this will generally depend on if the appliance is Class 1, 2 or 3. Due care will, of course, be taken towards any sensitive equipment but the safety of anyone who operates it is paramount and will be failed and marked unsafe for use should there be any issues with the appliances tested.


Do not run the risk of losing out on gigs by not having your gear PAT tested regularly by qualified Portable Appliance Testers. The legislation is there for the safety of all concerned and should be followed as closely as possible in order to prevent any electrical or fire hazards. In order to ensure your compliance with legal regulations, simply fill out the online form and My London Tradesmen will contact different 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 necessary bodies. We only use reputable and trustworthy tradesmen.

PAT Test