Emergency Lighting

What is Emergency Light Testing?

Emergency escape lighting is a general term and is sub-divided into emergency escape lighting and standby lighting. In the UK, the current law demands that all occupied buildings be fitted with adequate escape lighting to allow safe exit for an emergency situation when the main power supply is cut and normal electrical illumination fails.
The loss of mains electricity could be the result of a fire or a power cut. Without emergency lighting this could lead to sudden darkness and possible danger to occupants, either through physical danger or panic.
According to the Fire Precautions Regulations 1997 & BS5266 part 1 for the workplace, building owners must have in place luminaries and are also required to test the emergency lighting systems frequently and ensure their ongoing maintenance.

Also, it is crucial to know that there are different emergency light fittings, each in accordance with the legal requirements and the particular needs for their use. As such, there are emergency lightings for open areas, escape routes and stairwells.

Who requires it?

The British Standard provides the emergency lighting designer with clear guidelines to work to. BS 5266-1 relates not only to hotels, clubs, hospitals, nursing homes, schools and colleges, licensed premises, offices, museums, shops but also multi-storey dwellings.

Although the standard recommends the types and backup durations for each category of premises, it should be remembered that standards define a minimum requirement and that a higher specification may be required for a particular application.

How often should you test Emergency Lighting?

Monthly emergency lighting tests:

All emergency lighting systems must be tested monthly. The test is a short functional test in accordance with BS EN 50172 / BS 5266-8.

The period of simulated failure should be sufficient for the purpose of this test while minimising damage to the system components, e.g. lamps. During this period, all luminaires and signs shall be checked to ensure that they are present, clean and functioning correctly.

Annual emergency lighting tests:

A test for the full rated duration of the emergency lights (e.g. 3 hours) must be carried out. The emergency lights must still be working at the end of this test.

The result of the monthly and annual tests must be recorded and, if failures are detected, these must be remedied as soon as possible.

Our industry-approved emergency lighting engineers can carry out both the monthly emergency light testing and annual 3-hour tests and report any failures that need remediating as part of a maintenance programme.

They will also record all findings in your logbook and leave you on site with the relevant legal documentation.

Who should carry out the installation and maintenance?

We recommend that any installations and testing is carried out by an NIC EIC approved and registered company. Otherwise you risk being in breach of UK fire safety regulations which can bring tough penalties.
At Whitestar, our industry-approved emergency lighting engineers can carry out all the required tests. Any failed batteries or lighting tubes should be replaced as quickly as possible following the test, which is why our engineers carry stock of most items. Any more serious faults should be immediately investigated.
They will also record all findings in your logbook and leave you on site with the relevant legal documentation.

Case Study

Londin Buisness School Logo

London Business School

Whitestar keeps students, staff and visitors safe at London Business School with comprehensive electrical testing, maintenance and certification.

I've been working with the Whitestar team for more than a decade and they're very much more than a supplier. Our partnership with them has gone from strength to strength and the capability they bring to our offering is invaluable.

Their expertise is unrivalled and always gives absolute confidence in their ability to deliver. Their proactive approach ensures an excellent level of service is consistently provided.

Press Release

Total Cabling Solutions and Cable Dynamics rebrand to form Whitestar Solutions

Exciting new name and look signals start of next chapter for Whitestar Solutions.