Guide to safety testing legislation
Emergency lighting and fire alarms
Emergency lighting is essential for illuminating exit routes in the event of an evacuation. This can be due to mains failure from fire or similar issues.
There are three types of emergency lighting: maintained, non-maintained and sustained.
- Maintained - The emergency light units are illuminated at all times using the same lamps for both the normal operation and the emergency operation.
- Non-maintained - The emergency light units will only illuminate in the event of a mains failure.
- Sustained - The emergency light units are fitted with one lamp or two sets of lamps. These operate on mains 240V AC supply and can be turned on or off as normal. In the event of mains failure they would operate from the battery backup or generator.
Emergency lighting guidelines
With emergency lighting within your premises, a suitable servicing and testing programme should be implemented and recorded to ensure all equipment, devices and facilities are suitably maintained as well as being in good working order and good repair. This is important for showing compliance with The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
Emergency light units automatically operate for between 1 and 3 hours on a battery backup system and, as with all types of batteries, they must be checked to ensure that they’ll work for the correct duration. Signage showing the location of escape routes should also be photo luminescent.
A fire alarm is the main means of detecting a fire in your premises and raising the alarm. Therefore, it’s important that a fire alarm is suitably maintained and is in good repair and full working order for maximum efficiency and effectiveness.
Batteries have a limited lifespan and will stop working over time. It’s essential to make sure your fire alarm is tested at the correct interval and documented, ensuring the alarm system works correctly in the event an alarm is raised.
Periodic tests should be undertaken at 6 month periods, complying with The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
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