Emergency lighting testing regulations – advice for property managers

Emergency lighting is lighting for an emergency situation when the main power supply is cut and any normal illumination fails.  The loss of mains electricity could be the result of a fire or a power cut and the normal lighting supplies fail. This may lead to sudden darkness and a possible danger to the occupants, either through physical danger or panic.

Emergency lighting is normally required to operate fully automatically and give illumination of a sufficiently high level to enable all occupants to evacuate the premises safely. Most new buildings now have emergency lighting installed during construction; the design and type of equipment being specified by the architect in accordance with current Building Regulations and any local authority requirements.

But, with emergency lighting being so vital to the safety of the building occupants, are you confident that you are meeting the legal requirement when it comes to testing that they work properly and efficiently?

To test an emergency lighting system, a mains power failure on the normal lighting circuit / circuits or individual luminaries must be simulated. This will force the emergency lighting system to operate via the battery supply. This test can be carried out manually or automatically.

Currently, the legal requirement states that emergency lighting must be tested in two ways:

  1. Monthly emergency lighting tests

All emergency lighting systems must be tested monthly. The test is a short functional test in accordance with BS EN 50172:2004 / BS 5266-8:2004.

The period of simulated failure should be sufficient for the purpose of this test while minimising damage to the system components, e.g. lamps. During this period, all luminaires and signs shall be checked to ensure that they are present, clean and functioning correctly.

  1. Annual emergency lighting tests

A test for the full rated duration of the emergency lights (e.g. 3 hours) must be carried out annually. The emergency lights must still be working at the end of this test.

The result must be recorded and, if failures are detected, these must be remedied as soon as possible.

Regular servicing is essential. The occupier / owner of the premises must appoint a competent person to supervise servicing of the system. This person shall be given sufficient authority to ensure the carrying out of any work necessary to maintain the system in correct operational mode.

Campbell and Kennedy are BAFE certified and can ensure you are meeting your legal requirements to keep your tenants safe. Contact us today on 0141 435 7780 to find out how we can help.

 

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