Our four legged friends, no we're not talking about man's best friend. We are in fact talking about perhaps one of man's least favourite furry friends, rodents! As well as the obvious Health and Safety hazards that rodents present, they also pose a serious electrical safety risk.
Rodents such as mice and rats can chew electricity cables to the core, therefore stripping the protective insulation which in turn can cause electric shock and even fires. Surprisingly, cable-chewing mice and rats seem to avoid being electrocuted although no-one is quite sure how. One USA website claims rodents are responsible for more than one billion dollars of damage annually. ;
The key element when it comes to Portable Appliance Testing is ensuring that a detachable power supply lead (cable) supplying an item of Class I equipment incorporates a continuous protective conductor. A flexible cable should be inspected for damage throughout its length both by visual inspection and touch.
The IET 4th Edition Code of Practice for In-service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment states the following when it comes to damaged or faulty equipment:
If equipment is found to be damaged or faulty during inspection or test, it must be removed from service and an assessment made by the responsible person as to the suitability of the equipment for its use in that particular location. More frequent inspections and tests will not prevent damage to equipment if it is unsuitable for the use, location or environment. If it is unsuitable it should be replaced by more suitable equipment. ;
Rodents are capable of chewing through cables, therefore damaging the continuous protective conductor and leaving equipment damaged or faulty and ultimately dangerous to the user. So next time you are carrying out a visual inspection look out for the chew marks!
Intersafe are specialists in Essential Electrical Testing and are on hand to help with your PAT testing questions and requirements. Simply call 02380 610101 or email firstname.lastname@example.org