Here are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding Emergency Light Testing. Below we will feature the all important answers to to the most frequently asked questions that we have received over the years, whilst supplying this service throughout the country at many different commercial properties.
Q. Why do I need to test my emergency lighting?
A. Emergency lighting systems are installed to provide assistance in the event of loss of supply to the general lighting circuits if it is necessary to evacuate a building. 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”. All emergency lighting systems must be installed, tested and inspected in accordance with BS5266-1.
Q. Who is responsible?
A. Realistically, everybody has a duty to ensure the safety of others whilst at work; however, your employer/duty holder will have ultimate responsibility for electrical safety and welfare of staff.
Q. What does it involve?
A. Emergency lighting test and inspection demands that every circuit supplying an emergency light is isolated in order to demonstrate that the internal emergency keeps the exit routes illuminated during power failure. Every 12 months a 3 hour run down test is performed to ensure the battery is capable. Each light is inspected to ensure it operates correctly and that the lamp inside is sound. Your inspecting engineer should ensure that there are a sufficient number of lights and that the correct evacuation signs are fitted and in good working order.
Q. Who should do the work?
A. It is vital that this type of work is carried by a qualified and experienced test operative, generally fully qualified electrician who has been trained and qualified in specifically emergency lighting inspection work. When selecting your contractor you should ask to see evidence of their qualifications and experience in this type of work.
Q. Will I have to close my building?
A. There will be some impact especially during an annual 3 hour run down test. With proper planning this can be done at a time that suits your business. Be wary of contractors that tell you this work can be fully carried out without isolating lighting circuits – it is impossible.
Q. What about documentation?
A. After the test 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)
• Advise on further work/actions required
• Your contractor should enter the details of the inspection in your on-site log-book
Q. How much will it cost?
A. Every site is different. Your service provider should carry out a thorough site survey prior to providing a formal quotation. You should be wary of accepting a quotation without a previous site visit.
Q. What could happen if I don’t do it?
A. A serious fire or emergency on your premises will inevitably involve insurance assessors. You will be asked to provide proof that your emergency and alarm systems have been regularly tested. You risk losing insurance as well as endangering life if your emergency lighting fails.
Q. How can you help?
A. We are an NICEIC accredited Electrical compliance services provider, with more than 18 years experience. We know what to do, and offer competitive quotes through our national team of qualified personnel.