Emergency Lighting Testing

The outbreak of fire may prevent your building’s power supply from feeding electricity to lighting system. It is therefore crucial in many promises to provide emergency escape lighting which illuminates escape routes if the mains electricity power supply fails.

Emergency lighting has saved countless lives by ensuring occupants are able to navigate their way to safety in smoke logged and dark escape routes.

Knowing the legal framework

Most new buildings come fitted with emergency lighting as standard. Emergency lighting must be installed and maintained in accordance with British Standard BS 5266-1 and the requirements of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. Building owners and their nominated responsible persons are required to carry out a fire risk assessment to include ensuring emergency lighting is provided to an appropriate extent and working correctly. If emergency lighting is defective and fails to operate in a fire, the business or responsible person could be held to account.

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What our testing covers

Emergency lighting is a broad term and applies to various forms of lighting. NW Fire Solutions ensures the below list of ‘emergency lighting’ is tested and in full working condition:

  • Open area (anti-panic) lighting
  • Escape route lighting
  • Emergency escape lighting
  • Safety sign lighting
  • High risk task area lighting/ Bulkhead emergency lighting

Our tests ensure emergency lighting is triggered instantly and automatically in the event of a power cut to your building’s key power supply. We ensure a minimum of 0.2 lux is emitted by emergency lighting as per BS 5266-1. A comprehensive luminaire duration test is performed until the emergency lighting’s supply runs out (typically 4 hours). Recharging is then necessary. Test results are supplied to customers to insert into their fire safety log books. If emergency lighting fails a number of other tests are carried out in order to locate and remedy the fault.


Unless the system is provided with a ‘self-test’ function, emergency lighting systems should be tested monthly. This is a short functional test in accordance with BS EN 50172:2004 / BS 5266-8:2004.

The duration of the test should be sufficient to ensure that the luminaire operates correctly, whilst minimising any damage to the system components, e.g. Lamps, Battery.
It is important to note that the entire system does not have to be tested at the same time; the system can be tested in sections, over a testing schedule, so long as each luminaire is tested each calendar month.

The annual test should be a full rated duration test to ensure that the emergency lights are still working and producing the acceptable level of light at the end of the test. So, for example if a luminaire is rated for a 3-hour duration, then after 3 hours in an emergency situation the light should still be lit. the annual test should be carried out by a qualified person and recorded in the fire safety logbook for the premises.

It is worth noting that this full duration test should be completed at a time of low risk of an emergency situation so that the batteries have sufficient time to recharge.