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Emergency Lighting

The Fire Precautions (workplace) Regulations 1997 state that "Emergency routes and exits requiring illumination must be provided with emergency lighting of adequate intensity in case lighting fails". It is the responsibility of all employers to ensure that all these systems are suitably maintained and checked to ensure they are safe and compliant. All emergency lighting systems should be installed, tested and inspected in accordance with BS5266-1. Whether you already have a testing and maintenance programme in place or are starting from scratch, we are able to help you fulfil your saftey obligations by providing a reliable and cost effective testing service.

What does it involve?

Emergency Lighting Testing requires that every circuit supplying an emergency light is isolated to demonstrate that the internal batteries in the emergency fitting keep the exits and exit routs illuminated during power failures. Every 12 months a full discharge test (1hr or 3hr, dependent on system installed) must be performed by a competent person to ensure the batteries are capable of lasting for the required period. Each light is inspected to ensure it operates correctly and that the lamp inside is functional. Furthermore our electrician will check that there are a sufficient number of lights and that the correct evacuation legends are fitted during the test visit to the premises.

The key to safe reliable operation is proper testing and maintenance. To ensure that testing and maintenance are properly carried out the building occupier should nominate a responsible person who will keep adequate records of the installation details, test reports and maintenance records.

The following test methods are recommended by BS5266, which also recommends that testing which involves extensive discharging of the batteries should, wherever possible, be undertaken at times of least risk as it is conceivable that an emergency situation mains failure could occur immediately after a test period. For example on a three hour system a one hour test could be carried out first thing in the morning when the system has the rest of the day to recharge. However a three hour discharge may have to be made on a Friday afternoon or a weekend when the building will not be occupied during the test or recharge periods.

BS5266 recommends the following test procedures:

Daily Check- indicator light and all maintained luminaries for correct operation.

Monthly Test- for a short period not exceeding one quarter of duration (Three hours)

Six Monthly Test- as above for at least one hour for three hour duration systems.

Three Yearly Test- as above for the full three hour duration.

Subsequently For self contained systems test yearly for full duration

During each test the lights should be checked for correct operation. After testing the supply should be restored and indicator lamp checked to ensure the system is charging correctly. It is recommended that the system is checked again in the next 24 to 40 hours after the six monthly or three yearly test. A comprehensive record of testing should be maintained including a log book.