In a modern school there are a variety of portable electronic devices which form a vital part of the day to day functioning of the place.
In the standard class room there are computers, printers, over-head projectors, white boards and there may also be fans for when the weather turns warm, audio equipment used in teaching etc. A science classroom will contain more electronic devices that are moved around on a frequent basis, during teaching and in performing experiments. A music classroom may have all manner of electrical audio equipment and instruments. Children can be careless and heavy handed with such equipment, so appliances, their wiring and plugs need to be thoroughly maintained to ensure that the products do not stop functioning owing to a broken connection. They need to be safe so that there is no danger of electric shock and, as many items are expensive for schools to obtain, they need to be inspected to prolong the life of the equipment. Preventing fire risk is also vital in any public building and inspection of electrical wiring, both fixed and portable is a crucial part of fire prevention. .
Keeping the school clean involves the use of a number of vacuum cleaners, wet floor cleaners and also floor polishers. These items are subject to heavy use on often a daily basis, they can get bashed about and pulled during this usage. They may be incorrectly exposed to water damage during the cleaning routine. Again these items must be kept properly inspected to ensure that the equipment remains able to do its job, so that it is not allowed to get damaged (say by over heating), to prolong the life of the equipment and, of course to ensure that the operator of the machinery is in no danger of shock.
Catering for the school and its staff involves a number of portable electronic devices. Kettles, food processors, toasters, blenders, mixers, heated and lit food display and serving equipment, even cash tills etc. are all heavily used and if not moved on a daily basis during the use of the item, are often shifted when cleaning to the level expected in a public kitchen. As well as wear and tear of proper use, food and liquid spillages, over-heating of equipment and pulling of wiring during movement are all possible sources of electrical devices becoming damaged. Some schools have drink vending machines or water coolers, all these are considered portable from a PAT testing point of view.
The school print shop and the administrative offices at schools also have computers, photocopies, laminators, printers etc that need to be tested.
Heavily used equipment (like a vacuum cleaner), and equipment that gets moved a lot and is not always handled carefully (classroom PC’s for example) need checking more frequently than less used equipment and your health and safety officer can discuss with a PAT testing company a full list of items to be tested and how frequently in each case. This would be in addition to your visual checks of equipment on a regular and frequent basis.