How often should you test your emergency lighting?

How often should you test your emergency lighting?

When was the last time you tested your emergency lighting? In the UK, the frequency that emergency lighting should be tested is monthly.

In addition to this, an annual full duration test should be carried out, as described in the BS 5266-1 code of practice.

Monthly testing should involve what is colloquially known as a ‘flick test’, in which an establishment simulates failure of the main power supply and ensures emergency lighting reacts and turns on correctly. Luminaires should be free from damage and clean.

The test itself should be carried out through the use of the secure device key, commonly called a fish key due to its shape. A record of all monthly tests should be kept, with faults logged to be fixed as quickly as possible.

For the annual test, the requirements for emergency lighting are to test for a duration of three hours. When doing so, the primary lighting circuit must be switched off and emergency lights left on for three hours in line with BS 5266-1. All luminaires should remain lit throughout this period. Similarly to the monthly test, any faults should be reported and remediated as soon as possible.

These tests should be carried out by a chosen professional, who is competent, understands the ins and outs of the chosen system and has the capability to make any remedial work as soon as they are able.

With monthly ‘flick tests’ and annual full duration tests, emergency lighting can be properly maintained, as a result, saving lives in case of an emergency.

Find out how to properly test emergency lights with the Fire Protection Association.