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6 Critical Tips To Maintain Emergency Lighting

Emergencies can happen anytime, and in any successful business management, one of the fundamentals is how well-prepared you are to handle them. Emergency lighting is a crucial part of any building, and it proves very utile in cases of power supply failure caused by fires, or long power cuts by providing people with guidance and reassurance. Not only does emergency lighting prove invaluable, your business is legally required to have it according to Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. 

Emergency lighting includes the lighting that turns on, in case of a power failure. Following installation, emergency light testing is equally important and helps ensure that all the lights are up and running whenever needed in case of an emergency and power failure. 

Following the tips listed below can help you maintain your building’s emergency lighting with ease and avoid panic or physical danger. 

Check the emergency lighting duration

Although it strictly depends on the use of the building, but make sure that the minimum duration of emergency lighting provision is one hour. If the power is out and the escape lights also go out while the occupants are still making their way to the exit of the building, it might result in a panic and people could end up getting injured. For places of entertainment or places where occupants are sleeping, the minimum provision time should be three hours, so there is enough illumination for enough time to allow the occupants to figure out the exit door and reach to safety. 

Check the batteries every 30 days

Yes, it is crucial because with time, temperature fluctuations, or vibrations, the battery life gets drained and this poses a risk a of the emergency lights or system not turning on in case of an emergency. Check the batteries every thirty days and yearly to make sure the batteries have optimal health to power the emergency lighting equipment. 

Make the emergency path clear and accessible

The emergency path is the designated path the building’s occupants will take to exit the building. Emergencies are unpleasant to deal with for anyone, so one of the best approaches is to make the emergency path well-illuminated, clear and accessible, even during periods of renovation or maintenance. 

Focus on the exit signs

When it is dark, and the occupants of the building who may or may not be familiar with the layout of the building are trying to reach the exit, clear and well-lit exit signs prove to be very useful. The exit signs should be easy to see and understand and must be kept clean. The performance and battery health of all exit signs (which should work for at least 90 minutes after a power cut) must be checked once per month. Going for a yearly full discharge test is very important as well!

Understand different lightings for different areas

Before designing an emergency system, doing a risk assessment about how different areas of the building will be used and which areas will require a different lighting than the rest is always a good idea. For example, the risk of crashing into furniture due to dim light and getting injured is far greater in the cafeteria than in an empty hallway with virtually no furniture. 

Test manually as part of the monthly maintenance

That’s right! Simulating a monthly power failure is very important for the maintenance of emergency lights. The tester should go through the entire building after simulating a power failure to check if all the exit signs and other emergency lights are working correctly. After turning the power back on, the tester should go through the entire building again to make sure the emergency lights are charging properly. A monthly maintenance record should also be maintained.

Emergencies are inevitable, and even the slightest mismanagement can have serious consequences. Having emergency lighting in perfect working condition should be every company’s top priority, and the maintenance should be a monthly thing to minimise the risk of any mishaps. 

Hazel Newhouse

Hazel is a mum to 3 daughters and a son, she lives in Bedfordshire with her husband, kids and pets. Hazel has written for various publications, and regularly works alongside popular parenting and gardening brands.

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