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Emergency Lighting Testing

Emergency Lighting Testing

At Hexo, we offer comprehensive Emergency Lighting Testing in London and the South East. This is a crucial aspect of building maintenance, since such signage provides illumination in the event of a fire.

If the worst happens, 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, to navigate to safely. 

What Constitutes Emergency Lighting?

Emergency lighting is lighting that comes on automatically in the event of the main lighting going off, usually as a result of some kind of power failure. As the name suggests, it’s there for emergencies. 

When the main power supply is cut and normal electrical lighting fails, your emergency lighting and signage will be there to guide the way to safety. Without emergency lighting, the occupants of the building will be disorientated and will struggle to find their way outside. 

Current Emergency Lighting Standards

Under BS 5266-1, the UK’s current Emergency Lighting Standards, designers of such equipment must follow strict guidelines. BS 5266-1 relates to everything from offices to hotels, night clubs, hospitals, museums and multi-storey dwellings. Therefore, testing emergency lighting is essential.

What are the Different Types of Emergency Lighting?

Emergency lighting testing frequency depends on the type of system in place, since emergency lighting systems come in various forms, including:

Standby lighting

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 London

Emergency Lighting Testing Requirements

Is your emergency lighting meeting its legal requirements? When it comes to emergency lighting system testing, you can never be too thorough. 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. It’s also extremely important to keep hold of any Emergency Lighting Certificates.

Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

Thanks to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, Emergency Light 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.

Emergency light testing


How Often Should Emergency Lighting be Tested?

So, how often should non maintained emergency lighting be checked? Emergency light testing frequency is important and shouldn’t be overlooked. At Hexo Services, we offer comprehensive Emergency Light Testing in London and the South East.

Our emergency lighting servicing covers everything from ad hoc visits to annual inspections. Below is a thorough breakdown of all the emergency lighting servicing we offer, but for bespoke needs get in touch with us for a customised servicing schedule.

Monthly Emergency Lighting Testing

Emergency light 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

Taking Action

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 light testing London

Annual Emergency Lighting Testing

As well as carrying out monthly tests, it is vital that more thorough emergency lighting tests 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. We work around you, fixing any issues and providing you with a legal emergency lighting test certificate, to keep your workplace in perfect condition.

Annual Emergency Lighting Tests

During annual emergency lighting tests, we examine installations and look at exit doors, escape routes and lifts, as well as:

  • Intersections 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.

What will Commercial Emergency Light Testing Reveal?

So, what does an emergency lighting test include? Our Commercial Emergency Light 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 lighting system testing, 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.

Emergency light testing

Commercial Emergency Lighting Laws

There are certain regulatory requirements when it comes to commercial emergency lighting laws, which must be adhered to in order to ensure your commercial premises are properly protected with emergency escape lighting. These are:

  • Guidance 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 completed testing emergency lighting in your property, you will be given an emergency lighting test certificate, which proves your compliance. The emergency light test certificate will detail the inspection, any issues found and everything that has been rectified by our engineer. 

Emergency Lighting London

At Hexo, we offer services for emergency lighting London and the South East, working with home owners, businesses, landlords and housing associations to ensure safe working and living environments for all.  

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. If you want to know more about your emergency lighting testing requirements, then get in touch with us today. 

How Much Does it Cost to Test Emergency Lighting?

So, how much does it cost to test emergency lighting? Well, prices for our Emergency Light Testing differ depending on the service required. However, we try to make emergency lighting inspection costs as transparent as possible.

You can find a full breakdown of monthly and annual fees via our Prices page and it’s easy to make a booking. All prices include the inspection itself and your emergency lighting test certificate. 

When Should You Carry out Emergency Light Testing?

Emergency light testing should be carried out at a safe time, when the equipment will not be needed. During the inspection, the battery of the emergency lighting will be diminished. So, it’s important to identify a low-risk time to have the work carried out.

At Hexo, we can carry out works at a time that suits you and your business, whether it is staggered or takes place outside of working hours, including evening and weekend appointments.

Emergency Lighting Inspection in London

If you need an emergency lighting inspection in London, we’re the company for you. Our services are varied and can be customised to suit your individual needs. So, for advice on emergency lighting costs, as well as bespoke requirements, get in touch for a unique quotation.

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