Regular Testing and Maintenance of Emergency Lighting Systems

Published Date: August 31, 2023

Emergency lighting is a crucial aspect of building safety, and its reliability is of utmost importance during emergencies. To ensure that emergency lighting systems function as intended when needed, regular testing and maintenance are essential. Collaborating with structural design engineers and fire safety experts, building owners, and facility managers can implement a comprehensive testing and maintenance program to keep the emergency lighting system in optimal condition.


Testing Frequency

Testing emergency lighting systems should be conducted at regular intervals to identify any issues or malfunctions. Monthly testing is recommended to check the functionality of the emergency lights. During this test, the building’s regular lighting is temporarily turned off, and the emergency lights are activated to ensure that they illuminate the designated escape routes adequately. If any lights are found to be faulty or not functioning correctly, immediate action should be taken to repair or replace them.


Annual Inspection

In addition to monthly testing, emergency lighting systems should undergo an annual inspection by qualified technicians. The annual inspection is more comprehensive and includes a thorough assessment of the entire system. Technicians will examine each emergency light, check the battery’s health, and ensure that the lights are adequately charged to provide illumination for the specified duration, typically 90 minutes.


Battery Performance

The performance of the batteries is a critical aspect of emergency lighting systems. During both monthly testing and annual inspection, technicians will assess the battery’s health, ensuring that the batteries can hold their charge for the required duration. If any batteries are found to be weak or failing, they should be promptly replaced to maintain the system’s reliability.


Ingress Protection (IP) Rating

Emergency lighting fixtures are often exposed to various environmental factors, such as dust, humidity, or water. To ensure the durability and performance of the lights, they should have a suitable Ingress Protection (IP) rating. The IP rating indicates the level of protection the fixture has against the intrusion of solid objects and liquids. Regular maintenance includes checking the IP rating and cleaning the fixtures to remove any accumulated dirt or debris that may obstruct the light output.


Record Keeping

Comprehensive record-keeping is a crucial part of emergency lighting maintenance. Building owners or facility managers should maintain a detailed log of all testing, inspections, and maintenance activities. This log should include dates, findings, and any corrective actions taken. Having a well-organized record helps track the system’s performance over time and provides valuable documentation for compliance with building codes and regulations.


Upgrading and Modernization

As technology evolves, newer and more efficient emergency lighting systems become available. Structural engineers and fire safety experts can advise building owners on potential upgrades or modernization of their existing emergency lighting systems to enhance performance and energy efficiency.


Regular testing and maintenance of emergency lighting systems are crucial to ensure the reliable performance of these life-saving devices during emergencies. By prioritizing the upkeep of emergency lighting systems, property owners can rest assured that their buildings are equipped with a dependable and efficient safety feature, contributing to the overall safety and well-being of occupants.

Partnering with Polikar Engineering Solutions provides building owners and facility managers with expert guidance on implementing a comprehensive testing and maintenance program. For expert emergency lighting solutions, call PES today.



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