Emergency lights are important if your building is suddenly without lighting. It helps keep staff calm and ensures your building is evacuated safely so it’s important it’s tested regularly.
What is the purpose of emergency lighting?
Each different type of emergency light needs to be tested at regular intervals.
Emergency escape lighting Emergency escape lighting illuminates to help people safely leave a building. There are three different types.
Escape route lighting This makes it easy for occupants of a building to safely find the exit by providing clearly lit signs.
Open area lighting This is otherwise called anti-panic lighting and provides enough light to keep staff calm and help building occupants find an area where an escape route can be identified.
High risk task area lighting This provides illumination for people who may find themselves in a dangerous situation and need to shut-down the building.
Standby lighting Standby lighting enables activity to continue as normal if, for whatever reason, your power is cut. It’s not a legal requirement but can be very useful in minor emergencies.
How often should it be carried out?
There are two types of periodic emergency lighting testing which should be carried out to ensure your emergency lighting installation remains compliant and fully functional.
‘Flash’ tests are a monthly test which involves illuminating emergency lights for a short period of time to check that the luminaires are in good working order.
‘Duration’ tests are an annual test in which emergency lights must remain illuminated for 1 or 3 hours, thus demonstrating that batteries and lamps would perform properly if required.
Is emergency lighting a legal requirement?
The Regulator Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 states that the person in control of non-domestic premises is responsible for the safety of everyone in the building. And this includes providing working emergency lighting.
There are other emergency lighting regulations including: building regulations provide guidance on where emergency lights should be placed; and the British and European standards define what ‘adequate’ emergency lighting is.
How often should emergency lighting be tested?
Regulations outline that emergency lighting needs to be tested at least once a month.
Flash tests briefly illuminate emergency lights to check they are in good working order. These tests can be carried out once a month by a trained member of staff.
Duration tests need to be conducted once a year by a competent person, which is where we can help. To test them, we illuminate the emergency lights for one to three hours. This tests the batteries and lamps to see if they will work properly in an emergency.
What we test
We’ll visit your site and test all your emergency lights. This includes looking at the condition, charging capacity and battery drain.
If we find anything wrong with any of your equipment, we’ll let you know what the problem is and how it can be resolved.
So you can carry out the monthly flash tests, we’ll train a member of your staff to do it efficiently. We’ll also issue you with an Emergency Lighting Certification and record the testing date in your logbook. We’ll also send you a reminder when we need to come and test your emergency lighting again.
If you have lights that need testing across several sites, we can do that all within a time frame that works for you and your business.