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How often should you test emergency lighting?

Emergency lighting is designed for use in an emergency when a building’s main power supply is no longer functioning and normal illumination fails. Whether it is caused by a power cut or fire, such loss of light can leave a building in sudden darkness and present a potential risk to its occupants.

Emergency lighting systems operate automatically and provide sufficient illumination for building occupants to exit safely. To ensure they can be depended upon in an emergency, these lighting systems must be tested at regular intervals.

Monthly tests for emergency lighting

Every emergency lighting system in use on-premises must be tested each month. This type of test is a short functionality test that must be conducted per the British Standards BS EN 50172 / BS 5266-8.

The time frame of simulated failure must be sufficient for the test’s purpose while simultaneously minimising any damage to emergency lighting system components. Within this period, all signs and luminaires must be checked to make sure that they are clean, present, and functioning properly.

Annual tests for emergency lighting

A longer test for the full-rated duration (three hours) of the emergency lighting system must also be carried out once each year. At the end of the test period, all emergency lights included in the system must still be operational.

It is a common practice for companies servicing fire alarms to perform the annual emergency lighting tests, sometimes referred to as a ‘drain’ test while they are conducting fire alarm system maintenance tests. This practice allows electrical engineers to make good use of their time testing alarm systems while they wait for the drain test to complete.

Results and remediation

The results of the annual and monthly tests must always be recorded. If any failures are identified, they must be repaired as quickly as possible by a qualified engineer.

Electrical services you can trust

At Brooktech Maintenance, we offer a comprehensive complement of services, including emergency lighting and fire alarm tests. Regular checks can ensure that your fire safety measures on-site are operating at optimum, helping to save lives when an emergency occurs.

Contact our expert team today to book in your annual service.

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