What is emergency lighting?
Emergency lighting is lighting for an emergency situation when the main power supply is cut and any normal illumination fails. The loss of mains electricity could be the result of a fire or a power cut and the normal lighting supplies fail. This may lead to sudden darkness and a possible danger to the occupants, either through physical danger or panic.
The British Standard provides the emergency lighting designer with clear guidelines to work to. BS 5266-1: 2011 embraces residential hotels, clubs, hospitals, nursing homes, schools and colleges, licensed premises, offices, museums, shops, multi-storey dwellings, etc. Although this standard recommends the types and durations of emergency lighting systems relating to each category of premises, it should be remembered that the standards are the minimum safe standards for these types of building and that a higher standard may be required for a particular installation.
All emergency lighting systems should now be installed, tested and inspected in accordance with BS5266-1.
What does Emergency light testing include?
Emergency lighting test and inspection requires that every circuit supplying an emergency light is isolated to demonstrate that the internal battery in the emergency fittings keeps the exits illuminated during power failure.
Every 12 months a 3 hour run down test is performed to ensure the battery is capable of doing so for the desired period. Each light is inspected to ensure it operates correctly and that the lamp inside is sound. Furthermore the inspecting engineer will ensure that there are a sufficient number of lights and that the correct evacuation legends are fitted.