Property owners in the U.K. are required to adhere to many standards for health and safety. Making sure certain building systems are functional in the event of an emergency is one of the very basic requirements of building safety regulations. For commercial, residential and industrial properties that are larger, emergency light testing may be a necessary part of the maintenance routine.
Emergency light testing is a requirement of the law. Property owners who are required to have such lighting are advised to test on a daily and monthly basis to ensure functionality and proper illumination. An annual, longer-duration test is also required to gauge whether the full duration of emergency lights (three hours), is provided. The more intensive checkup is generally conducted by a licensed electrician and results in the issuance of an electrical light testing certificate property owners can use to prove compliance with the law.
Emergency light testing is necessary given the importance of these lights in the event of a fire or other safety hazard. Emergency lights are required in all places with guest access to ensure people can see to safely navigate their way out of a building in the event of a loss of power, a failure of the lighting system, a fire or other type of crisis situation. All exits routes should offer this lighting that is able to operate independently of a building’s main power system.
Aside from complying with regulations and avoiding running afoul of the law, following the advised routine for emergency light testing is important and necessary to:
- Ensure public safety – By their very nature, emergencies cannot be predicted. Making sure emergency lighting is functional and reliable is simply critical for making sure a property is prepared for anything, from a simple power outage to a more serious fire. This type of lighting is critical for helping people within a building avoid accidents or injury in a low- or no-light situation.
- Reduce liability – Failure to properly maintain emergency lighting may open property owners up to liability claims in the event of a related accident. Having a log book that shows daily, monthly and annual checks, along with certification, may serve to limit liability.
Emergency light testing is one of the many ways property owners can safeguard people and their investments in the event of a crisis situation. Working this testing into the routine isn’t just wise, it’s also the law.