Commercial Emergency Lighting Testing
At Hexo, we offer Commercial Emergency Lighting Testing services for all business spaces. This is a crucial aspect of any building maintenance programme, since such signage provides illumination in the event of a fire.
If the worst happens and your electrics are compromised, your emergency lighting must immediate trigger into action. If not, the workplace will be plunged into darkness, posing a number of problems. So, not only is emergency lighting necessary, but if building evacuation is required, the workforce needs to be able to see where the exits are, and be able to navigate to them safely.
What constitutes emergency lighting?
Emergency lighting is basically lighting that comes on automatically in the event of the main lighting going off, usually as a result of some kind of power failure. There are several different types of emergency lighting, including:
This is the lighting that jumps into action in the even of the failure of the standard lighting in the building. It allows the staff to carry on with their normal roles, provided there is not an emergency situation which necessitates they leave the building.
This form of emergency lighting is not a legal requirement, as it may not be absolutely crucial to the safety of the workforce. It will depend on what activities are being carried out on the premises.
Emergency escape lighting
This is a legal requirement, as it will enable the occupants of a building to safely find their way to the nearest emergency exit. It should also provide enough illumination for any potentially dangerous tasks to be ceased safely before evacuating. This type of lighting is a requirement of the Regulatory (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and is part of the fire safety provision required for a building.
Emergency escape lighting it split into different types of lighting as below:
- Escape route lighting
This will show any occupants of the building the way to the emergency exit, so they can safely leave the building. It should be bright enough that any hazards along the way can be avoided and also that the exits are obvious to those in a high-pressure situation. It includes fire exit signs that are brightly illuminated and also emergency bulkhead lights.
- Open area lighting
This is the lighting that comes on in larger spaces, in order that the building occupants can find their way to the emergency escape route, which would then highlight the nearest exit. It would be required in larger buildings.
- High-risk task area lighting
When working in an industry such as manufacturing, there is a high probability that certain processes and machinery would pose a risk if operated in the dark, or left unattended at the time of evacuation. Emergency lighting should come into action in these areas, so that the task or process can be discontinued in a safe manner and all staff can evacuate the premises safely.
Emergency Lighting Testing requirements
So what are the Emergency Lighting Testing requirements in the UK? Whilst used (hopefully) infrequently, it is absolutely critical that emergency lighting is operational at all times.
Thanks to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, Emergency Lighting Testing requirements are compulsory for all non-domestic premises. The Act also stipulates what lighting is required in different premises.
- The legislation means business owners are obliged to have the right escape signage in place, in order to ensure that employees and customers can safely exit a building in an emergency
- The regulations state that business owners must properly maintain their emergency lighting, to make sure it is reliable and remains effective in the event of power failure
- Therefore, it is essential that your emergency lighting is regularly serviced by a professional
- The need for emergency lighting varies, depending on the size and purpose of the property, but no matter what type you have in place, it will need to be checked over each month and given a full duration test once a year
At Hexo Services, we offer comprehensive Emergency Light Testing for businesses across London and the South East, covering everything from hotels and shops, to factories and schools.
Emergency Lighting Testing – Monthly
Emergency lighting testing needs to be carried out by an expert on a monthly basis. We can carry out a systematic investigation to check all emergency lighting is functioning correctly. For this, mains power will be turned off and lighting checked for clarity.
This test will highlight any emergency equipment that doesn’t light up when the mains power is off. We will also:
- Examine all equipment for signs of disrepair
- Once power is back on, we will take another look to make sure each sign is charging
- We will maintain a log of our inspection results, keeping track of any issues or necessary repairs
It is imperative that repairs are actioned immediately, as it is likely you will be in breach of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. This not only poses legal risks to your business, but ineffective emergency lighting also poses a very real danger to the health and safety of any building occupants.
Emergency Lighting Testing – Annual
As well as carrying out monthly tests, it is vital that more thorough emergency lighting testing is carried out once a year. This involves a duration test, to ensure each emergency light remains clear and bright for the correct amount of time. As a general rule of thumb, three hours will allow enough time for everyone to clear the building.
This thorough assessment can be carried out at a time that suits you and your business, whether it is staggered or takes place outside of working hours. We work around you, fixing any issues and providing you with a legal emergency lighting test certificate, to keep your workplace in perfect condition.
During our visit, we will examine your installations and look at the following:
- Exit doors
- Escape routes
- Intersection of corridors
- Outside each final exit and on external escape routes
- Emergency escape signs
- Stairways (so that each flight receives adequate lighting)
- Changes in floor level
- Windowless rooms and toilet accommodation exceeding 8m²
- Fire-fighting equipment
- Fire alarm call points
- Equipment that would need to be shut down in an emergency
- Areas greater than 60m²
Given the importance of the emergency lighting testing, and the severity of the issues it could cause if it does not work as expected when required, we would not recommend self-testing. We can be extremely flexible to minimise disruption to your business, but this testing needs to be carried out thoroughly, with every issue documented in full.
What will Commercial Emergency Lighting Testing reveal?
Our Commercial Emergency Lighting Testing service will highlight any concerns or defects that need to be rectified, so that you can keep your property, employees and customers safe. Under our complete Emergency Light Testing service, which will ensure your system is BS 5266 compliant, we can provide annual inspections and duration testing, as well as monthly examinations and ad-hoc checks, no matter what the size or purpose of your business.
What standards must be upheld?
There are certain regulatory requirements which must be adhered to in order to ensure your commercial premises are properly protected with emergency escape lighting. These are:
This comes in the form of the BS 5266-1 Code of practice for emergency lighting of premises, which gives general information and rules as to how emergency lighting should be installed and operate in commercial premises
- System standards
The emergency lighting in your commercial premises must adhere to BS EN 1838 Lighting Applications – emergency lighting. This states the level of illumination that must be provided including duration, colour and luminance
- BS EN 50172 / BS 5266-8
Emergency escape lighting systems standard specifies the testing requirements for the emergency lighting in different premises
- Government legislation
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRFSO) stipulates what emergency escape lighting is required in the different types of non-domestic property and communal areas of houses of multiple occupations (HMOs). There are several guides available as part of the RRFSO which detail the individual requirements.
After we have carried out an inspection, you will be given an emergency lighting test certificate, which proves your compliance.
How much does Emergency Light Testing cost?
Prices for our Emergency Light Testing differ depending on the service required. You can find a full breakdown of monthly and annual fees via our Prices page and it’s easy to make a booking. If you have bespoke requirements, get in touch for a unique quotation.