If you have been charged with your building's electrical maintenance, you may have heard specific terminology but are not quite sure what it means!
As you may be aware, emergency lighting is the battery-powered lighting that comes on automatically in a building when there is a power cut or a fire. This emergency lighting ensures that building occupants can safely make their way out of the building, even when the normal lights have gone out.
Businesses must have emergency lighting by law, in line with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
This emergency lighting needs to be well-maintained, using procedures like ‘flick tests’.
If you're unsure what a flick test is, this short guide will help.
So... what is a flick test?
You must test emergency lighting once a month in what is known as a 'flick' or 'flash' test - in line with BS EN 50172 and BS 5266-8
This is when the building's power is briefly turned off to ensure all emergency lighting fittings (also known as luminaires) turn on or stay illuminated.
If any lighting doesn't turn on or does not provide reliable illumination during the flick test, you need to get the light repaired or replaced.
Emergency lights don't need to be tested at the same time. As long as you check each light every month, testing can be staggered.
When you test the lights, you need to record the results in your fire safety logbook.
Do any other tests need to be carried out?
As well as a monthly flick test, a 'duration' or 'discharge' test needs to be carried out annually.
This involves fully discharging the batteries that the lighting runs off to ensure your emergency lighting stays on for a designated amount of time. This is usually three hours, but can vary.