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Emergency Light Testing.... What you need to know

Emergency Lighting Inspection

Why do I need my emergency lights tested?

Emergency lighting systems are provided to aid the safe evacuation of premises in the event of a power failure, and due to the critical nature of these systems they require thorough routine inspections and testing to be undertaken.

The occupier / owner of the premises shall appoint a competent person to supervise/undertake servicing of the system. This person shall be given sufficient authority to ensure that any work necessary to maintain the system in full operation is undertaken.

How do I know if I have emergency lighting?

Emergency light fittings come in all shapes and sizes these day, so aren't always easy to spot. There are also several different types of emergency lighting that you could have on your site, and some are more obvious than others.

Maintained Emergency Luminaries - A luminaire in which the emergency lighting lamps are energized at all times when normal or emergency lighting is required [EN 60598-2-22:1998, 22.3.5]

Non-Maintained Emergency Luminaries - A luminaire in which the emergency lighting lamps are in operation only when the supply to the normal lighting fails [EN 60598-2-22:1998, 22.3.6]

Combined Emergency Luminaries - A luminaire containing of two or more lamps, at least one of which is energized from the emergency lighting supply and the other(s) from the normal lighting supply. (A combined emergency luminaire is either maintained or non-maintained)

How often do I need this carried out?

The below are the minimum inspection and tests that shall be carried out at the following intervals.

Monthly - It is essential that all emergency lighting systems are tested monthly. This is carried out by causing a simulated failure of the mains power, but only for a short period of time. This should be long enough to confirm that the lights illuminate and stay on, but not too long to cause undue damage to system components, e.g. lamps/batteries. This would be carried out in accordance with BS EN 50172:2004 / BS 5266-8:2004.

Annually - The annual test is much more involved and and requires isolating the power for the full duration of the emergency lights (3hrs) to confirm that batteries let the required about of time and are still functional at the end fo the test. This test needs to be carried out at a time of low risk, this is due to the batteries requiring to recharge before full occupation can be recommended. If there is no option for a low risk time, then alternative lighting arrangements and a risk assessment should be undertaken.

Results - Both of the above tests require their results to be recorded within the site Emergency Lighting folder. This is evidence if required the the systems have been tested and maintained. Any faults found need to be recorded, and actioned as soon as possible, then when repairs are complete the log will need updating to show this.

How can TES Compliance help you carry this out?

We have fully qualified test engineers that can cater to the needs of your business, from completing your monthly functional testing and updating the log books, through to carrying out the full annual discharge test. We will provide all required certification, and details around any failures that we find. If required we can also supply quotations for the remedial works to bring your site back in line with the current regulations.

If you would like to have a chat around your needs, please get in touch on 01293 912318 or you can drop us an email at

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