The Importance of Emergency Light Testing for Businesses
Companies across the UK are responsible for guaranteeing the safety and wellbeing of their workers. Making sure that emergency equipment is fully-functional ranks among the most crucial responsibilities. Emergency lights and exit signs can be spotted in just about every commercial venue. To make sure emergency lights are defect-free, companies have to run periodical testing and maintenance.
Why is Emergency Light Testing Crucial?
Emergency lights have become such a part of everyday life that we hardly spot their existence. At the same time, they can prove to be lifesaving in the case of an urgent situation.
According to the Fire Safety Advice Centre, emergency lights on the premises of UK companies are required to operate in a fully automatic manner. Their primary purpose is to remain illuminated when electricity goes out in the case of a fire, for example. Such lights help for the quick evacuation of all employees and visitors.
There are clear guidelines for emergency lights set by the British Standard. This is the minimum safety requirement that companies should use to choose the types of emergency lights and the duration of the signal.
Regulations also guide the number of times that emergency lights should be tested on an annual basis (via the induction of a power failure to make sure all parts of the system work).
According to BS 5266-1:2011, all emergency lighting systems in commercial and public venues have to be tested on a monthly basis. A test focused on the full duration of the emergency lights is to be carried each year. Usually, the full duration is several hours depending on the specifications of the system.
Thus, emergency light testing is required by law and this happens to be one of the first reasons why the mandated tests need to occur within the specified periods. A failure to comply could lead to serious sanctions, including hefty fines.
It’s a Matter of Safety
Regulations pertaining to the testing and maintenance of emergency lights are in place to ensure the safety of building occupants and visitors. Thus, avoiding a fine isn’t the primary reason why testing has to occur on a regular basis.
Via a simple test, you will be making sure that the emergency lights are fully-functional. This information will help you rest assured that if an evacuation was needed, people in the building will be capable of identifying the emergency exits quickly.
Whenever there’s a power failure and potentially smoke from a fire, it could be difficult for people to find their way out of the building. The lack of fully-illuminated exits will make it even more difficult to carry out a quick evacuation. Eventually, such an issue could lead to serious injuries and the loss of lives.
Every building owner and business entity needs to have a detailed log of the emergency light testing that has occurred through the years. This way, the respective entity can prove that the respective equipment is fully-functional. Such maintenance records could eventually prevent a lawsuit, especially if a death occurs in the process of evacuating employees from the building.
Emergency Light Testing is Quick and Easy
There’s one final reason why emergency light testing should take place regularly – the process is quick and easy.
Emergency light tests can be carried out both manually and automatically. In both instances, the aim would be to make sure that all signs and lights become illuminated when the power supply is cut. The monthly required test is carried out via a very short power cut. The aim is to check all of the signs without disturbing daily activities. For best results, such tests are conducted whenever the building is not occupied.
The annual test lasts longer because it continues over the course of the full duration of emergency lighting. At the end of the test period (for example, two hours later), the emergency lights should still be functional.
All tests results are recorded and a detailed log is created. If any failure is noticed during the monthly or the annual inspections, these will have to be remedied as soon as possible. Information about the failure and the corrective measures is also included in the log.
Keep in mind there could be some specialised requirements based on the type of the building and its function. A daily emergency light inspection, for example, is necessitated whenever the emergency system has a central backup battery. This daily inspection is solely visual in nature.