Knowledge Centre

Should I Be Concerned About What The Test…

Knowledge Centre

Should I Be Concerned About What The Test…

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What are the problems you could face when the engineers arrive on site?

When things go wrong with these services, they fall into two areas.

Let’s take the more obvious one first, or, the one that customers highlight the most.

On-site Business Interruption

Having interviewed hundreds of prospective clients about their previous experiences of fixed wire testing services, this was the biggest complaint by far. Issues tended to revolve around engineers switching off circuits. I’ll get feedback like “you engineers switched off the service circuits” or “the fire alarm was switched off”, and “the monitoring centre was going to call the fire brigade” etc.

So why does this happen?

The two leading causes of business interruption when Fixed Wire Testing is taking place are;
Underestimating preparation (customer & contractor)

The testing process requires the engineers to switch off the power to a particular circuit (and the whole building in some cases). Knowing this, we must ensure that the engineers and site contacts on the day all have clarity on what areas can be switched off. Without clear guidance from the customer, the engineers are highly likely to cause some sort of business interruption.

Why is this?

The testing company hasn’t spent enough time ensuring a definitive business continuity plan is in place to minimise power outages to critical customer systems. Coupled to the fact that customers who haven’t had to buy this type of service before tend to put too much faith in the testing company when it comes to what engineers can and cannot test.

Customers understandably assume it the engineers know what they cannot switch off. Not true.

If an engineer is not sure about the testing of any particular circuit, they might, of course, switch it off by mistake. What we often find is they decide not to test a cluster of circuits in an area to stay on the safe side, thus diluting the testing process.

Circuit Labelling

It can be challenging to tell what circuit is feeding power to what services. Often they are not labelled, badly labelled or worse still are being used for a completely different function. E.g. It says sockets to the kitchen, you switch those sockets off because you’ve got to test it, you find it’s switched off a server in the room adjacent “OUCH!”.

If you’re not sure what the circuit is powering, then don’t expect the engineer to be so sure either.

Make sure that as best as possible, you know what the circuits do. Especially when it comes to critical systems such as servers, communication systems fire alarms etc

The first time you may become aware of any problems is on Monday morning when the IT guys call you and give you the bad news!

The advice we give to clients get prepared and ask questions around your sensitive equipment.

Put in place a business continuity plan written down, so all stakeholders have clarity around what can and cannot be tested. Ensure these details are communicated, and the site testing team are made fully aware of them.

Ultimate Compliance has developed an online in-house simple to complete business continuity process to let us know what we can test; we call it our “Business Continuity Blueprint.”

It’s a critical process we use to ensure minimal disruption to you on our testing days.

So now you’ve got your business continuity plan in place what’s next.

It’s a critical process we use to ensure minimal disruption to you on our testing days.

So now you’ve got your business continuity plan in place what’s next.

The next problem we often see, but it tends not to so well understand by to the customer is ensuring they get the Fixed Wire Testing Report that they can rely upon.

Several factors can contribute to the overall quality of the final report.

In no particular order, they are as follows;

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On a final note
Fixed Wire Testing Services come in all shapes and sizes even though this is not immediately obvious from the google ads.

Finding the balance between the testing process your site needs and the price you’re willing to pay can be tricky to unravel.

I have written a few more guides that might help you one is on pricing, here.

The other is my guide. ‘What to look out for when buying fixed wire testing services’

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