In Electrical Fire Safety, Fire Alarms, Fire Safety, News

An emergency lighting system is an essential part of your building’s safety and evacuation plan.  Exit signs and simple lighting devices contain a backup battery to light the way if a power outage occurs during a fire or other emergency.  Years could pass before a disaster occurs and causes a power outage that makes your emergency lighting system come on.  That is why it is important to have your system inspected regularly.

Testing your emergency lights for 30 seconds every month and 90 minutes once a year are required by various life safety and fire codes.  It is important to comply with these regulations. When you do, you can expect to:

  • Improve safety in an emergency:Many defective batteries maintain enough “surface charge” to adequately light the bulbs, but only for a few seconds. Monthly 30-second tests help you identify problems that could prove hazardous in a real emergency.
  • Reduce liability:You put yourself at risk of litigation if you skip emergency lighting testing, and the lights fail to work properly during an emergency.
  • Remain code compliant: The law requires you to inspect and test your exit and emergency lighting system regularly. Failure to comply with this requirement could lead to liabilities and fines. Avoid code compliance issues by keeping up with mandatory inspections and tests.

 Monthly Test

Every month a 30-second activation test should be performed.  It is designed to determine if the light bulb and backup battery function correctly.  The power is cut to simulate a blackout to see if the emergency lights activate automatically.  It lasts for 3o seconds because bad batteries can hold a residual charge that can turn the lights on but isn’t able to keep them lit.  Physical damage, such as exposed wires or loose screws, electrical connections and charge lamps should be checked.

Annual Test

Once a year, a 90-minute discharge test is performed to confirm that your safety lighting system will work as expected in a real emergency.  If the lights or batteries fail during the test, the technician will make the repairs and adjustments as needed.  The batteries are checked to ensure they are fully recharged once power is restored.

Other annual safety lighting tests include:

  • Disconnecting the AC power supply to each unit
  • Checking batteries and lenses for corrosion or other damage
  • Cleaning the unit and lens if needed
  • Adjusting and tightening the beam for proper placement
  • Measuring the charging system voltage, battery output voltage, and line voltage

Call Fire Control Systems to install your emergency lighting system and to conduct your monthly and annual testing.  It can save lives!


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