Emergency Exit Light Testing – All You Need To Know!

Emergency Exit Light Testing – All You Need To Know!

Often perceived as small indicators above door frames in places like movie theaters, shopping complexes, or parking lots, emergency exit lights play a crucial role beyond mere location guidance. These illuminated signs are integral to building evacuation, ensuring occupants are informed of the safest routes during emergencies.

Emergency exit lights, illuminating pathways to safety, are vital components in architectural planning for both commercial and residential buildings. Regular testing, including the 90-minute discharge test as per Australian standards, is essential for compliance and safety standards. The presence of reflective surfaces, exit light fittings, and globes in emergency lights ensures safe passage even during power failures. Adhering to legal requirements, compliance testing guarantees the functionality of backup batteries, maintaining illuminated evacuation paths during electrical failures.

Understanding these aspects is imperative for creating and maintaining a safe environment in both commercial and residential structures.

The Complete Guide for Emergency Exit Light Testing

Know Your Power Source

Emergency lighting systems are classified in accordance to the kind of power source they use, and where they derive the power in order to illuminate the path of the occupants and guide them to safety. In some cases the emergency lighting contains a battery built into the system, the emergency light is called a self-contained or single unit. These types of emergency lights need to be tested very regularly, because in most cases, the batteries don’t provide a warning before draining to an unusable level.

Emergency lighting systems

6 Monthly Testing

The overall system of the building should be tested every 6 months following the standards as per BS EN 50172:2004 / BS 5266-8:2004. This is a short functional test and following the standard will give you some basic checks and a log books to assist you in maintaining the records for your convenience. The standard also provides the best practices to follow in case of repair and maintenance of your emergency lighting system. The duration of the test is enough for you to understand the condition and response of your system. It is important to check the whole system at one time only, however, the system can be divided into smaller sections and subsections so the testing can be done as a whole.

Annual Testing

Annual Testing

An annual testing should be done for around 3 hours with the emergency exit lights running. Make sure that the test is done when there is time for the lights to recharge before the building is filled with occupants again. This is due to the exit lighting draining throughout the test, and will need time to recharge again. The test should be conducted by illuminating all emergency exit lights, and seeing if all the lamps are lit after a period of time, usually hours. It is also important to check is the illumination of the lamps, and the difference in brightness between first turning it on, and after an hour or two of running, and if they have dimmed or if the illumination is the same.

Emergency Light Testing

Who Should Do This Testing?

For building or business owners, prioritising occupant safety is paramount. It is advisable to engage professionals with expertise in occupant safety and evacuation for impartial assessments. These experts, unbiased towards your sites, can identify and address system flaws proactively.

The energy lighting system, crucial for occupant safety during disasters, power outages, or emergencies, transforms into a life-saving device. Regular emergency light testing, aligned with standards, is a moral and social responsibility.

This proactive approach ensures the maintenance of emergency lighting, a vital component of essential safety measures in commercial buildings. Recognising the significance of exit signs and addressing potential issues promptly, as highlighted in the aforementioned points, reinforces the commitment to making safety the top priority in any establishment.

The Local Guys Test & Tag, the experts in electrical safety, specialise in comprehensive electrical safety testing. Offering risk assessments for premises, advice on safety switches, electrical circuit safety, and conduct testing and tagging for portable appliances and equipment. Providing a free service quote, contact The Local Guys Test & Tag for further information.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog is for general informational purposes only. While we strive to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information we strongly advise that any electrical work or modifications be carried out by a licensed and qualified professional electrician. The content of this blog should not be considered as a substitute for professional advice or consultation. Any reliance you place on such information is strictly at your own risk.