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How Often Should an Emergency Lighting System Be Tested?

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How Often Should An Emergency Lighting System Be Tested?

An effective emergency lighting system is a must-have for any commercial site. But to do its job properly, it needs to be working. Anything other than fully functional means potential danger to your staff, visitors or tenants – not to mention legal complications.

Emergency light testing will make sure your system is working, reassuring you that it’s on hand for emergencies where it’s needed. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at how emergency lighting is tested and how often it’s required.

How to test emergency lighting

First and foremost, emergency lighting tests need to be performed by a professional. As with other electrical systems, it’s both dangerous and damaging to attempt any inspection or work yourself. Instead, you’ll need a fully qualified, accredited and experienced electrician.

Emergency lighting tests comprise a full inspection of the system and all its components to check they’re in line with the relevant BS5266 standard, including:

  • Maintained lighting which is used continuously but also has a back-up power source in case mains power is lost
  • Non-maintained lighting which relies solely on a non-mains source and reacts to power failure
  • Safety lighting for occupants who need to remain on the premises

Once the test is complete, you’ll get a certificate to confirm that it has been approved to BS5266 standards. That will include any recommendations for repair.

What are the requirements for emergency light testing?

Testing your emergency lighting is clearly best practice in terms of safety and peace of mind. But it’s also a legal requirement for any business premises. In short, all businesses are required to have their emergency lighting tested by a professional at least once a year.

The full annual test includes a three-hour duration test which checks whether your emergency lights can function and produce the necessary lighting for an emergency.

As well as a comprehensive annual check, many businesses choose to have shorter monthly tests to make sure everything is working properly. This involves turning off your power to activate lighting and checking for any damage.

The benefits of emergency light testing

There are various benefits to having your emergency lighting system tested on a regular basis. None more so than legal compliance. By not having regular tests, you risk your site becoming non-compliant, which could result in temporary closure or fines.

On top of that, emergency light tests provide much more peace of mind. By taking a proactive approach, you’ll always know about issues before they become a serious problem. This allows you to get them repaired in advance, so you can always rest assured that your system is working when it’s needed.

That proactive approach is also typically more cost-effective. Rather than waiting for a major breakdown which requires costly emergency work, you can stay on top of things with small affordable repairs which are much easier to manage.

Book your emergency lighting test

If you want to make sure you’re meeting the emergency lighting testing requirements, Volta Compliance is on hand to help. Our experienced, accredited and qualified electricians in Leeds can provide yearly or monthly emergency lighting tests that keep your site compliant for full peace of mind.

To find out more or book your test, give us a call on 0113 397 1361 or email [email protected].

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Richard Carr Volta Compliance
Richard Carr
Managing Director
Richard is the Director of Volta Compliance. He is a fully qualified approved electrician graded with the JIB. Richard has over 20 years electrical experience working on commercial and industrial installations.