Emergency Lighting

Emergency Lighting

Why do I need to carry it out?

Emergency lighting systems are put in place to provide assistance in evacuating a building in the event of a loss of supply to the general lighting circuits (for example, through fire or a power outage).

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 emergency lighting systems are adequately maintained and checked to ensure they are safe and compliant. All emergency lighting systems should now be installed, tested and inspected in accordance with BS5266-1.

Who is responsible?

Realistically, everybody has an obligation to ensure the safety of others whilst at work; however, your employer will have the ultimate responsibility for electrical safety. If nobody at your place of work is assigned as the safety representative, then the responsibility falls on the most senior person. It is important to know who has the responsibility for safety and welfare of staff in order to establish that compliance is achieved.

What does it involve?

The testing and inspection of emergency lighting requires that every circuit supplying an emergency light is isolated to demonstrate that the internal battery in the emergency fittings keeps the exits illuminated during power failure.

Every 12 months a 3-hour run down test is performed to ensure the battery is capable of doing so for the desired period. Each light is inspected to ensure it operates correctly and that the lamp inside is sound. Furthermore the inspecting engineer will ensure that there are a sufficient number of lights and that the correct evacuation legends are fitted.

Who should do the work?

It is vital that this type of work is carried out by a qualified and experienced testing engineer. Such testing engineers are generally fully qualified electricians who have experience of test and inspection, and have been specifically trained and qualified in emergency lighting inspection work.
When selecting your contractor you should ask to see evidence of their qualifications and experience in this type of work.

Will it impact on my workplace?

There will be some impact such as short periods of isolation on lighting circuits including the annual 3-hour run down test. It is also recommended that, following a full battery discharge, the premises should not be occupied until the batteries have recharged, normally 24 hours. In cases where this causes problems or difficulty, it is possible to stagger the test across time-frames. With careful planning and co-ordination between you and your contractor, this can be carried out at a time that best suits your business.

Be wary of contractors that tell you that testing and inspection can be done correctly without isolating lighting circuits – it is impossible.

What will I receive?

Upon completion of emergency lighting testing and inspection you should receive a report that details the following:

– Installation details and characteristics
– Circuit information and test results
– Schedule of items tested and inspected
– A list of defects or deviations from the British Standard (these will require attention)

If you are not a technical person, then your contractor should be pleased to talk through your report with you and advise you of any further action required. Your contractor should enter the details of the inspection in your on-site log-book.

How much will it cost?

To obtain a quick and easy quote, please call us on 0845 465 0464 or use the contact form on the right to get in touch with us.

What could happen if I don’t do it?

Aside from the threat of prosecution in the event of fire, injury or death, surely the safety of your colleagues, employees, patients or belongings are reason enough to test and inspect emergency lighting systems at work. There are many reasons not to do emergency lighting test and inspection such as cost, inconvenience, or lack of knowledge. However none of these reasons will be accepted as a defence in the event that loss of power supply occurs and safe evacuation is not possible.

How can we help?

Selectatest is one of the UK’s leading independent Electrical Safety Testing specialists. We have a wide range of accreditations including NAPIT and NICEIC – more can be found on our ‘Accreditations’ page.

This combined with our huge national resource, in-house training centre and 15 years of experience, places us head and shoulders above the competition in customer service, technical competence and innovation.

Do you have any testimonials?

We can provide testimonials and references from over 200 satisfied customers across all sectors and regions, please request these from our sales department.

Will I qualify for any discount?

Selectatest is a nominated supplier under many Public and Private sector framework agreements, and works with a number of multi-company buying groups. These frameworks and groups open up potential discounts for customers who are eligible to buy through them. To see if your organisation is eligible for any of the available discount packages, or to discuss your own potential volume discount, please call us on 0845 465 0464 or use our contact form to get in touch.

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