01977 624 366
Emergency lighting as the name suggests is an emergency backup system designed to ensure adequate lighting is available in the event of an emergency such as a fire or the loss of power to the site. A basic emergency lighting system would typically covers escape routes and other important areas located in and around a building.
Luckily these systems are not very often used for the purpose for which they are intended. However when they are needed it is essential that they are reliable as they often save lives and assist people in getting out the premises safely.
There is a legal requirement for most building to have adequately designed and suitable maintained emergency lighting systems. Statutory duties for emergency lighting systems are mention and many different areas of legislation but they may also be required by the local fire officer, local authorities, licensing agencies and even your insurance provider.
If you have an any emergency lights on your site you have a legal obligation to monitor and maintain them in a satisfactory condition. BS5266 Part 1 Code of Practice For Emergency Escape Lighting covers recommends the following be undertaken and recorded as appropriate.
Emergency lighting systems must receive a documented functional check at least every month. This is a basic test of operation i.e. the simulated failure or loss of the electrical supply. This test is only required for a duration that is suitable for this test and should not affect system components such as lamps or draining of batteries.
Every 12 months a documented full duration test is required. The simulated failure or loss of supply is required for the full rated duration of the system usually 180 minutes. It is advised that this test be done at times of lower risk such as when the premises are unoccupied. This allows for recharging of batteries which may likely be fully discharged following completion of the test. If this precaution cannot be done then other practical steps can be taken prior to or following inspections to help minimise any risk.
At the end of the 180 minutes duration test all luminaires should still be operating correctly and any that are not should be replaced or suitable repaired.
The annual test should also include inspections and tests to ensure the system is satisfactory with the relevant standards. This should included a verification of the initial design to ensure the system is still suitable for continued service taking into account any changes in installation or building usage that may have occurred since the last annual inspection. Lighting levels should be checked and confirmation is required that documents and log books are accurate and up to date.
In addition to the essential Monthly and Annual Checks we would also recommend informal user checks are undertaken every week, especially in high risk areas or buildings. This visual inspection gives an opportunity to inspect for to visible signs of damage, failed lamps and to check charge lights are illuminated to indicate that luminaires are in charge mode. Whilst these this inspection does not require any record keeping a system should be in place to document any defects which may be identified.
Informal or additional user checks as the name suggests should be undertaken by the users or owners of the emergency lighting systems. No formal training is required since this is a very basic visual inspection. It may be an advantage for the person undertaking this survey to have some experience in maintenance or building management but it is not essential.
Monthly Checks are an essential part of the maintenance process and they must be properly recorded. The level of knowledge required to carry out these checks properly will require some technical knowledge of your system. It may be considered suitable for users of the system to carry out these checks by themselves. However the person undertaking these checks will require a working knowledge of the system, must have ability to identify any potential defects, and will need to accurately record all findings.
Annual inspections & tests are more involved than monthly checks and suitable precautions may need to be considered before they take place. This kind of survey is more than just a visual inspection and a functional test, is also a verification that the original design of the system is still suitable for the current use of the building. Therefore, only a competent person with suitable experience and a detailed knowledge of the relevant British Standards or lighting design should undertake these kind of surveys.
As a specialist provider of electrical inspection and testing services Orange Tree Electrical can provide the right level service to suit your site and staff.
By consultation we can determine what level of service or assistance your require and the we provide on-going programme which is planned around your site operations.
Our competent inspectors can assist with any inspections including monthly checks, annual inspection & tests or even additional users checks if required. We regularly undertake detailed inspections on a variety of premises from small commercial properties and schools to large industrial multi-site estates.
We can also provide report and document templates required to in order to complete any of the inspection types mentioned above for those companies who have competent staff and want to maintain their own systems.
Our reports and emergency lighting registers / log books are very comprehensive yet easy to understand and easy to work with. We can also provide site layout drawings including details and locations all the emergency luminaires installed on your site.
As an NICEIC approved contractor and in addition to the services outlined above Orange Tree Electrical also undertake a variety of electrical installation and maintenance work. Therefore if requested we can provide quotations for any maintenance, or alterations and additions that make be required to your emergency lighting system. This means we can offer our clients a more complete and comprehensive service over companies who only offer inspection services.
For more information on our Emergency Lighting Inspection & Testing Services please call us on 01977 624 366 or get in touch via our contact page.