Employers are not only legally required to install emergency lights but also have them regularly tested. They must ensure that the emergency lights are working correctly and automatically activate if there is an emergency.
This article covers legal obligations or requirements regarding emergency light testing for those living in the UK. You may read more about emergency light testing and determine the reasons behind these strict regulations for additional information.
The UK fire safety legislation requires the whole emergency light system to undergo complete testing every year, at least once. Other than that, specific tests must be carried out on a daily and monthly basis.
Fire Regulation Reform Order introduced the legal imperative for installing emergency lighting systems. It was implemented in 2005 and has been in practice ever since. This reform stipulates that the legally required upkeep of emergency lighting systems is just as essential as fire alarm systems. The primary changes in BS-5266 are the two new emergency lighting levels, i.e. the emergency safety lighting and the standby lighting. BS-5266 represents the code of practice regarding the emergency lighting of certain premises.
This reform urges the employers and contractors to follow the rules outlined in BS-5266 when carrying out the required testing, inspection, and maintenance of the emergency system.
Schedule for Emergency Light Testing
Following are specific stipulations for emergency light testing in the UK.
1. Daily Testing
A visual inspection of the emergency lighting system running on a central source of the battery must be carried out daily. The indicators on the power supply’s central source must be checked to see if it is operational.
2. Monthly Testing
The luminaries must be tested once a month to ensure that they will activate automatically in a power outage or emergency. Keep the record or results in a logbook. Sort out any failures immediately.
3. Annual Testing
A total rated duration (3-hour long) testing is carried out to ensure all the emergency lights are functional. They must maintain an acceptable level of brightness for the said duration.
Maintenance Requirement for the Emergency Light System
Regular maintenance of the emergency lighting system is necessary to ensure that it remains fully operational. The maintenance is generally part of the testing routine and is carried out by the contractor or a trained and licensed electrician.
Additionally, there must be spares available for certain consumer items, like the lamps, on the premises. The presence of spares ensure a quick replacement in case of a failure or emergency.
Logging and Recording the Tests for Emergency Light
Once the tests are done, make sure that all the observations are logged in the official fire safety logbook for a permanent record. Also, make sure that the time and date of the tests are recorded. Note down any faults discovered or the specifics of any maintenance work in detail.
If a contractor carries out the tests, you will receive a certificate for emergency light testing. These certificates and logbooks are vital. You may present them as proof that you are fully complying with the legal obligations.