Before You Order

Things to Check Before Entering a Contract

Most events that require PA equipment happen on a specific day at a specific time, so if the right equipment doesn't turn up at the right time (or if it turns up, but you are not able to use it) the event itself may not go ahead as planned.

Before you agree to hire a PA System or PA Equipment, you should ensure:

  1. You have received and checked a Statement of the Terms of Hire

    This is important to avert the kind of mistakes that cannot be rectified later (like getting the date wrong) and to prevent misunderstanding. It does not have to be - indeed, should not be - something only a lawyer would understand: if you don't understand something (or if there is an error or omission), you should not agree to it.

    It should be clear:

    • What you will get;
    • When (and for how long) you will be getting it;
    • What you will have to pay;
    • What you are liable for if something goes wrong;
    • What the supplier is liable for if something goes wrong.

    We provide this information in a written quotation before accepting any order (please see our Example PA Hire Quotation if you would like an idea of what this will look like).

  2. The provider has Public Liability Insurance

    Public Liability Insurance doesn't just protect the business: it protects anyone who has a claim against the business for injury or damage to property caused by the business (insurance makes it much easier for the claimant to get proper compensation).

    It protects you and your property, your audience (and/or guests), their property, and the venue.

    Some venues (including some hotels and clubs) will not allow you to use uninsured equipment or services.

    Please see our Legal page for copies of current insurance certificates.

  3. The equipment is electrically safe

    The most common evidence of this is a Portable Appliance Test Certificate (the equivalent in electrical equipment of an MOT).

    A certificate does not prove the equipment is safe (any more than an MOT proves a vehicle is roadworthy), but it does show the supplier routinely inspects and tests equipment for safety.

    Some venues (including some hotels and clubs) will not allow you to use equipment without a certificate.

    If you or anyone else involved in your event needs to see them, please ask us for current copies of certificates covering any equipment you will be hiring from us.

  4. The equipment will be set up and used safely

    Ideally this means someone should carry out a Risk Assessment, and if appropriate provide a Method Statement (see the section on Safety for further information).

    This doesn't mean that Health and Safety is getting in the way of a Good Night Out, or that Bureaucracy has Gone Mad. It just means someone should look at what is going to happen with a mind to avoiding potential hazards and risks that might be involved.

    Also make sure:

    • Anyone in control of setting up or operating equipment has suitable qualifications and/or experience (and, if they need it, knowledge of Health and Safety);
    • You have all the resources you need (time, equipment, personnel, power sockets, work lights...) to get the work done safely.

    Preventing or minimising obvious dangers can usually be achieved by common sense and observation: it doesn't require a degree in Health and Safety to realise that running cables on the floor across a doorway is a Bad Idea, or to notice somebody doing it and look for a practical way to do it differently.

None of this should cause much trouble, but neglecting it can cause a great deal of trouble if something goes wrong. We take our clients' requirements and our legal responsibilities seriously, but please make sure whoever you hire from has everything covered. If you need any documents or further assistance from us to be sure of this, please ask.

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