If your premises has exit or emergency lighting installed, it is important to ask yourself when the last time you had it tested was. And be honest about the answer. This is one of those jobs that many business and building owners don’t realise they’re legally obligated to carry out – according to Australian Standard 2293.2, testing must be carried out every 6 months.
Why is testing important? Look at it this way – imagine that a fire has broken out in your building; the lights have suddenly gone out and it’s very dark. The building is full of smoke and occupants need to get out as quickly as possible. Without operational emergency and exit lighting, how will they know which way is out? It’s essential for the safety of everyone in your building.
These lights are generally installed over doors or are directional to help people locate the nearest exit. There are two main types that may be present in your building – the first stays on all the time and the second only comes on during a power failure. In both types, burned out bulbs and flat or damaged batteries can mean that the light dims or doesn’t come on at all.
These days, many businesses also provide basic lighting in the case of a power outage. They’re often located above stairs and within windowless rooms (such as toilets) to provide enough light for people to safely exit or move around the area. These lights will generally operate off a battery or generator, however, burned out bulbs or flat batteries can wreak havoc on their operation.
We have already touched on the fact that testing should be carried out every 6 months. Australian Standards also require that the lights remain illuminated, running on battery power, for at least 90 minutes. Whilst most exit lights have a small “push to test” button on the casing, it is strongly recommended that you have a professional perform the test for you for peace of mind.
As a part of testing and maintaining exit and emergency lighting, a professional electrician will complete the following:
- 90 minute battery test (using either manual or circuit breaker testing)
- Inspection and replacement of bulbs as needed
- Inspection and replacement of diffusers
- Inspection and replacement of batteries
- Cleaning all light reflecting surfaces to ensure maximum illumination
- Checking for compliance with current safety standards
- Documenting the tests completed for your log book
“Exit” to Pictogram
Since 2006, all new emergency lights are required to show a pictograph of a running man rather than the word “exit”. Whilst this doesn’t mean that the older signs cannot be used, many business and building owners are choosing to upgrade to the new pictogram style signs to improve safety. This is another task that we can complete during testing.
Many business and building owners choose to combine the testing of their exit and emergency lighting with testing of smoke alarms, circuit breakers, safety switches and electrical equipment tagging. We can provide all of these services, ensuring that your premises is kept as safe as possible for occupants. Contact us for more information or to book in a test of your building.