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Guest JBolton

Emergency Light Testing

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Guest JBolton   
Guest JBolton

Are we able to carry out our own in-house emergency lighting testing ie: the annual discharge test as a member of staff/caretaker who does the regular checks would be able to test on a weekend at a fraction of the price some companies are quoting or do they need to have a qualification?

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BS EN 50172:2004/ BS 5266-8:2004 states,

Regular servicing is essential. The occupier/owner of the premises shall appoint a competent person to supervise servicing of the system. This person shall be given sufficient authority to ensure the carrying out of any work necessary to maintain the system in correct operation.

One definition of competent is,

A competent person is someone who has sufficient training and experience or knowledge and other qualities that allow them to assist you properly. The level of competence required will depend on the complexity of the situation and the particular help you need.

It doesn't say he has to be qualified, it says he has to be competent you will have to decide if he is competent.

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I would say that from a practical point of view, a normal caretaker would be able to use a test key to remove power from emergency lights and ensure that the emergency lights stay on the required period. When it comes to repair of failing emergency lights then I guess an electrician would be needed unless the caretaker has sufficient qualifications to replace batteries and lamps.

It is important, though, that all tests are recorded and the fire safety log book.

Harry

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Guest BrianTur   
Guest BrianTur

Can you please advise as to the frequency of EM lighting flick tests specific for the communal areas of blocks of flats, we provide various maintenance services to the agents caring for this type of development, but each client has widely differing standards ranging from 6 monthly checks by an engineer to weekly/fortnightly as per our routine service visits. Any info you can give on this matter would be most helpful, also the same applies to smoke alarm testing, if you are able to advise on this??

Many thanks.

Brian.

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Emergency lighting is not subject to a routine service like your car would, it is periodically tested and any faults found are rectified. Please see this short guide about emergency lighting testing, also the frequency is of tests are shown and in http://www.firesafe.org.uk/emergency-lighting/ There is one item that could be classed as routine maintenance the changing of backup batteries after a set period, but even this should be pickup during tests.

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Guest simoneas   
Guest simoneas

Hi,

I'm enquiring regarding the annual test for the emergency lighting. According to the 2011 regs It talk about doing a 3 hr test, full discharge. Is it advisable to stay with the building as the batteries recover charge after the test, in case of an electrical failure??

Thanks

Simon

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If there is an electrical failure after the 3 hour test, and all the lights passed the test what will you do? The batteries need 24 hours to fully recharge, you can not really stay in a building for 24 hours watching ..........

Ideally the test should be carried out at a time when the building will be empty for the next 24 hours.

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Guest stevieHG   
Guest stevieHG

I have read the info on emergency light and I'm unable to find an answer. I have just started to do the monthly checks I my work place I have a good knowledge but not qualified as an electrician is this ok or should this job be undertaken by a fully qualified person thank for in advance for an help you may be able to provide me with.

Stevie

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Guest TBar   
Guest TBar

Please could you confirm how often you are required to have emergency lights certified,I have been told its every 6 months and also every 12 months.

I act as a valuer/agent for various breweries etc

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There is a lot of misinformation & out of date information on EL testing.

To keep it simple for self contained systems (which most are) you test:

- Monthly function test. A quick test activating the fittings to ensure they are working at all

- Annual duration test: As per the monthly test, but fittings are left on battery to check they last for their rated duration (often 3 years)

Strictly speaking you should also check each fitting daily to see the green (red on older lights) charger LED is lit and on maintained fittings that they are lit.

There used to be a 6 monthly test, but that was removed 11 years ago! And there has never been a 3 monthly test.

You don't need a contractor to do either test as it's easy to learn how to do them in house - as long as you have the time to do it properly you need only bring in the contractor reactively for when a fitting fails.

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Guest KrishnaMis   
Guest KrishnaMis

According to BS5299 is 3 hour annual discharge required or a 1 hour duration discharge sufficient?

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Guest James   
Guest James

Hi 

I have a question in relation to the duration.

Premises that are occupied 24/7 such as hotels, care homes etc, how can the full 3 hour duration test be carried out in these types of buildings due to their immediate continued use straight after testing.

Can a 1 hour test based on the potential risks be justified in these circumstances?

Thank You

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The duration of an emergency lighting system will depend on the design and category of premises and if that requires 3 hours it should be tested to three hours.

Consider the risk, providing you do the test during daylight hours, there has to be a fire, the electricity supply has to fail and the test is once a year, considering these situations has to happen at the same time I would think the risk is low, so I would be prepare to take a chance on the full test for the duration required.

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Guest James   
Guest James

Tom

Many thanks for your response.

I understand that 3 hours which these are need the 3 hour test and also it is a case of evaluating the risk as mentioned.

My concerns with that be what if the lighting did fail, as even in daylight the corridors have no windows so it would be total darkness!

Upon investigation they will go straight for the name on the inspection cert!

As said I know the 3 hour lights need the 3 hour test it's just how do you ensure that the charge would be sufficient enough immediately afterwards in an occupied building as they can take up to 24 hours for a full recharge.

Thank You 

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In a building that is in use 24/7 there is no perfect time to do the test, there will always be a risk, but you must reduce that risk to the lowest level. As I explained above the risk is reasonable low, taking all the factors into account, by doing the test in the daylight hours, reduces that risk to the lowest level, consequently I cannot see anybody pointing the finger if that perfect storm should arise, which I believe is most unlikely. A fire - the electricity supply has to fail - and it has to occur on one day in 365, pretty unlikely I would think.

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