Published 29 Sep 2022
Why Perform Emergency Exit and Emergency Light Testing
Emergency lighting is often overlooked when considering building occupant safety. In the event of power outages, darkness, or emergencies such as earthquakes or fires, emergency lighting and exit signs are crucial because they help occupants navigate safely, remain calm, and evacuate quickly.
An emergency lighting and exit sign inspection checklist is used to ensure emergency lights are in good working condition. This template can be used by maintenance teams to document and report any defects identified. The template has been built to guide the inspector to perform the following:
- Evaluate the physical condition of equipment, battery, and luminous
- Take photo evidence and detailed notes of any defects found
- Record any corrective actions needed and send instant notifications to relevant people
- Document overall test assessment and recommendations
- End inspection with a digital signature and timestamp to validate record of inspection
Emergency escape lighting is a legal requirement for all buildings in the UK and part of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
Here are two featured digital emergency light checklist templates you can download for free, customize and use to perform mobile inspections using the iAuditor by SafetyCulture Mobile App.
This article will discuss the following:
- how to conduct emergency light testing;
- recordkeeping emergency light inspections;
- frequently asked questions (FAQs) about emergency light testing; and
- emergency light inspection app.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) it is ideal that emergency light testing is done once every 30 days. To do this, press a small “push to test” button that should light up the signs for 30 seconds while maintaining the same level of brightness. A thorough emergency lights inspection should also be performed annually to confirm that the lights would stay on for at least 90 minutes as necessary.
Emergency lighting should be tested and reviewed by qualified technicians who have a thorough understanding of UK emergency lighting regulations. In addition, a typical emergency light testing procedure is conducted as follows:
- Notify occupants about emergency light testing: the first step of the test is to ensure occupants are made aware of upcoming darkness simulation to avoid panic and injuries.
- Identify the emergency lights in the building: all units generally have a red or green LED glowing on them
- Insert the test key into the key switch adjacent to the unit: make sure the emergency light fitting illuminates once the key has been inserted
- Switch off the relevant lighting circuit at the distribution board: ensure emergency lights illuminate automatically once power is cut off
- Log all units that are not working: use emergency lighting log books and test sheets to record identified defects.
Emergency lighting systems must be tested on a regular basis. All detected failures must be remediated as soon as possible and all results must be recorded. It is common for technicians and maintenance inspectors to use Emergency Lighting Log Books and Test Sheets for recordkeeping. Key results captured include:
- Visual and physical condition of the equipment, battery, and luminous
- Any physical defects found;
- Assessment of test results (pass or fail);
- Identify the reasons for failure; and
- Inspector’s signature and timestamp to validate the inspection.
Paper-based emergency lighting log books are difficult to maintain and time-consuming to complete. Paper logs can be easily damaged and misplaced which makes it difficult for technicians to track and locate specific entries. Also, the inability to easily capture and store photos makes identifying repair work challenging.
iAuditor, the world’s #1 mobile inspection app can transform your paper-based emergency lighting test sheets and log books into powerful digital mobile templates. With iAuditor you can create your own custom mobile forms, save hours in recordkeeping and take unlimited photos of equipment defects. A single online portal allows you to schedule upcoming tests, quickly identify defects and view all completed reports in real-time.
To save you time, we have created these two featured emergency lighting templates you can download for free and use with the iAuditor mobile app. Preview a sample printable PDF report.
Emergency Lighting Testing FAQs
Emergency light testing typically falls under the responsibility of building operators and safety officers, but any “competent” person can carry out this task. This person will run daily, monthly, and annual checks to ensure that the building’s emergency light is functioning as intended.
The frequency of emergency light tests will depend on the lighting system you have in place. As a general rule, it’s best to perform daily and monthly checks to see if the lights are working as intended. Moreover, a full-rated duration lighting test on an annual basis can also help ensure that your emergency lighting system is in good condition.
Digital Emergency Light Testing Templates
An emergency lighting log and test sheet template is used to document all test results during inspections. Perform the following key steps when completing the form:
- Identify the device to be evaluated
- Record the type of test to be performed
- Evaluate the physical condition of the equipment
- Take photo evidence of defects and damages found
- Identify load test result and refer failed tests to the appropriate persons
- Validate records of inspection with a digital signature and timestamp
This digital emergency lighting log book allows technicians to log as many emergency lighting tests as needed and describe the actions completed during the emergency lighting inspection. The advantage of this digital log book over a paper-based lighting test sheet is that technicians can include photos to better describe actions completed or issues found. Also, the signature field is time and date stamped to track activity.