Now that the back to work chaos has subsided, businesses can focus on the year ahead and put into action their plan of action for the year ahead. Getting a head start is all about being organised and writing important dates in the calendar will help managers and staff at the top stay in control, meaning nothing slips through the net. Emergency lighting maintenance needs to be carried out throughout the year, to ensure the safety of a company’s premises, practices and staff, so start by getting these dates earmarked.
There are several emergency lighting maintenance testing requirements that are required to keep installations working to the best of their capabilities, with the BS5266 and EN50172 which outline the minimum requirements.
Emergency lighting maintenance should be carried out every day on any systems which have a central back-up battery system. Every day, a visual inspection should be carried out, ensuring that they indicators that identify the system is operational are all showing the correct signs. There is no test of operation required and daily testing is not applicable for emergency lighting systems which have a self-contained back-up battery in each unit.
Businesses should allocate a day per month to test emergency lighting systems in accordance with BS EN 50172 / BS 5266-8. This short functional test involved manufacturing a period of simulated failure, to identify that the battery back-up is working adequately. This test should be short enough that check can be carried out but not long enough to impose damage on the system components like the lamps. Part of the monthly maintenance test involves checking all luminaires and signs to ensure they are present, function and unobstructed by dirt.
Once a year a full test of the emergency lighting system should be conducted by a competent person, such as an electrical contractor, who will test the full duration of the installation. Once carried out, the inspection will be documented and compliance with the BS 5266 will be evaluated.28