Emergency lighting can save lives in the event of a fire, illuminating the way to the exits when normal lighting fails. Simply having emergency lighting in place is not enough to comply with Fire Safety Regulations; you need to be sure the system is in good working order. This can only be achieved by regular testing.
While testing emergency lighting is equally as important as testing fire alarms, it is often mistakenly overlooked. Failure to record emergency lighting testing within your risk assessment could land you in legal trouble, in the event of an accident at work.
You need emergency lighting testing to:
- Comply with the law.
- Meet the terms of your insurer.
All businesses are required by law to assess health and safety risks to their business. Should an injury or fatality occur because of failure to maintain an emergency lighting system, this will be deemed as fully preventable. Penalties could be severe and your insurance could be invalidated.
Emergency Lighting Testing
There are three types of emergency lighting testing that should be performed and recorded:
- A daily visual test – This check only applies to systems that are backed up by a single battery, not emergency lighting systems with a self-contained battery in each unit. Visual checks to the indicators on the central power supply will confirm whether the system is operational. Any responsible person can perform this check.
- Monthly function test – The monthly test stimulates the conditions of a short lighting failure. This allows a responsible person, or an electrical engineer, to check that all luminaires and emergency signage are working correctly and in good order.
- Annual periodic inspection – In an annual test the emergency lighting is activated for an extended period between 1 and 3 hours. The system must still be fully operational at the end of the test. The results are recorded and certified. Any areas of concern or failures that must be rectified are also recorded along with upgrade recommendations.
The annual test must be performed by an individual with the relevant knowledge and capability to perform the test safely. As emergency lighting systems, installations and testing must conform to BS 5266-1 code of practice, we recommend that the annual test is performed by a qualified electrical engineer.
Every commercial property must meet the basic standards for compliance by conducting annual electrical lighting testing, with additional monthly checks performed and recorded.
The requirements for emergency lighting can be found in the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
Emergency Lighting Services
On Electrical Contractors Ltd specialise in emergency lighting installations and testing, for commercial properties. Our testing and maintenance services include luminaire duration testing, functional checks on battery charging, electronic reports and certification, and advice on how to stay safe and compliant.
Whether you’re seeking to rearrange emergency lighting following a refurbishment, or would like to find out whether your system meets current BS standards, our NICEIC approved engineers are here to help.