After emailing Shirley Moffat, Chairman of the Red Lion Theatre, she made it clear that if my group were to use the electrical sockets in her establishment we would need to provide PAT testing for our equipment for health and safety reasons. PAT stands for Portable Appliance Testing and is a process in the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, New Zealand and Australia by which electrical appliances are routinely checked for safety and although it’s slightly more work, it’s totally understandable for Mrs Moffat to stress its importance.
An external company can be hired to test all the electrical products in a business however, we were lucky enough to have a caretaker capable of doing such tests and so before the shoot I took into school with me equipment I planned to use for the shoot. This included my laptop charger (which is needed to keep the DVD running for the projector), a battery charger for my lights in case we loose power through the three-hour shoot and also the projector and its cables. The plugs were tested through the machine you can see on the left by Mark Harris who is certified to do such a test and give a legal result. His certificate can be seen below.Although we hadn’t the ability to perform the process ourselves, Mark Harris lead us through the PAT test step by step where he must attach each plug and push certain buttons on his machine to collect results. If these results were correct he could pass them as being safe. Also, with some plugs, such as the projector’s extension cable, Harris had to look closer into the plug by opening them up as you can see below. With all our equipment it was vital that he carefully checked the cables for any holes, tears and open wires since this would fail the test and certainly be dangerous.
Luckily, all of our equipment passed the PAT test and was rewarded the green sticker to indicate this. As you can see above the stickers includes who had tested the equipment (MH meaning Mark Harris), the date the test occurred and the next date the equipment will have to be tested once again. But with this done and out of the way, we had pleased the woman in charge of the Red Lion Theatre by ensuring a safe environment to work in whilst Jannath and I were one step closer to being ready to film which was a great feeling.