Grenfell blaze prompts call for PAT testing

Appliances in high-rise buildings should be PAT tested, a retailer has argued.

Portable appliance testing (PAT) is the examination of electrical appliances and equipment to ensure they are safe for use.

In the wake of the Grenfell Tower blaze on June 14, which killed at least 80 people, Gary Walmsley (pictured), managing director of Bolton-based bathroom retailer Posh Bathing, told our sister magazine kbbreview that safety regulations of appliances in high-rise flats “need changing” if a fridge can cause so much destruction.

“I’m a little bit sick of all the finger pointing and point scoring from politicians,” said Mr Walmsley. “What I can’t understand is why isn’t every appliance in a high-rise not PAT tested every year just like office blocks and business premises? This should be a law, it’s not rocket science.”

He went on to argue that having an appliance tested takes minutes and having it regularly maintained could significantly reduce the possibility of a fire hazard.

“We have a car MOT’d yearly, but 90% of the population spend more time in the home and rarely have things checked,” he added.

“I had a dryer, which was completely stripped, and the engineer pointed out the fault. Mine was quite safe because I clean the filter, but you can easily see why it would become a fire risk. It seems that it’s all down to maintenance.”

He concluded: “For what it would cost over a year to add to the rent, I think it would be negligible.”