Testing Emergency Lighting Systems

The key to achieving complete fire safety in your premises is preparation and regular testing of your equipment to ensure that it is in perfect working condition. That’s why this month we’ll be looking at how to test your emergency lighting systems so that should a fire break out you will be as prepared and therefore as safe as possible.

What is emergency lighting?

But first we will briefly cover what constitutes emergency lighting in regards to fire safety. Fundamentally, emergency lighting is any lighting that comes on automatically in the event of a power outage that halts the normal power supply. You can find out more information about what emergency lighting is and its benefits here.

Testing your emergency lighting

Just as with any other piece of fire safety equipment, you need to ensure that it is regularly serviced and maintained to appropriate standards. You will need to bring a certified ‘responsible person’ to properly test your emergency lighting system, as you will be unable to legally guarantee your system is working adequately without one.

However, there are a number of things that you will need to carry out in addition to having in a professional electrical contractor that we will detail for you now.

You will need to keep a logbook of: the dates of periodic inspections and tests; dates and brief overviews of any service inspections and tests; dates of any defects and remedial action; dates of changes to the emergency lighting system, and this logbook must be made available to any authorised person.

For monthly testing you will need to:

  • Log all testing that is carried out by an automatic testing device, including for short and full duration tests in addressable systems and likewise for annual testing.
  • Carry out, where necessary, manual short duration tests that involves using a test key to turn on the emergency mode of each light and internally lit exit sign, thereby simulating the loss of normal lighting power and check that every light is sufficiently illuminated.

For annual testing you will need to:

  • Carry out a full duration test, which is carried out similarly to the above but will also require you to leave the lights on for the full length of time that the manufacturer states the emergency lighting system should last for. Then normal power should be restored and and all lighting checked to see if this is registered by the system, as well as that the charging appliances are functioning correctly.

If you are unsure that you are testing your equipment properly or often enough, it is imperative that you contact a technician or certified ‘responsible person’ immediately to ensure that this is carried out appropriately.

Cheshire Fire provide a range of fire safety services including fire alarm installations, fire safety training and free site surveys across the Cheshire area. For a specialised and detailed fire risk assessment of your premises, contact our friendly team today.