How Often To Test Emergency Lighting

March 26, 2021

Exit & emergency lighting is an integral part of fire safety and can be a necessity to meet Australian fire safety regulations. The lighting ensures that in emergency situations, you can locate and see your way to exit the building or premises. 


How does emergency lighting work?

If your power goes out in your building, how are the lights meant to stay on? 

Emergency lighting is designed to be able to stay illuminated when the power to the building or premises is compromised. This means that in places with low lighting or at night, people can still see how to exit clearly and quickly. 

The lighting is wired to the building’s main power supply and this allows for continuous charging of internal batteries. The internal batteries provide backup power for the lighting when the main power goes out. This ensures that the lights remain alight during emergency events and people can safely exit the building if there is a need to evacuate. 

Without lighting, and with the potential for smoke Exit and Emergency lighting becomes critical.  These systems have their own source of battery power and come on automatically, when the mains power fails.

Given the way emergency lights are configured, they require regular inspection and testing to ensure that the batteries are in working order and all elements are functioning as they should be. But you may be wondering how often to test emergency lighting. Let’s take a look. 


Wondering how often to test emergency lighting?

Australian Standard AS 2293 for fire safety requires that all emergency and exit light fittings be tested and thoroughly inspected every six (6) months

Regular exit and emergency light testing ensures that the equipment is in perfect working order and can be relied upon if an emergency event were to take place. Not only does it give you peace of mind but it also ensures that you are meeting fire safety regulations. 

When being inspected, the lighting will go through a 90 minute discharge test to make sure that it can work effectively for this length of time. This confirms that in the event of an emergency, the lighting fixtures will be functional and allow all occupants of the building to exit safely.

Brisbane Fire Services is fully licensed by the Queensland Building and Construction Commission to carry out all mandated tests and repairs on emergency exit lighting systems. We have extensive experience servicing business all over Brisbane and South East Queensland, with expert knowledge of Queensland regulations and codes. 


Where do you need exit and emergency lighting?

The placement of your lighting is almost as important as the functionality of it. There are specifications that dictate whether your building needs emergency lighting and where it should be placed. For example, if the floor area of the building is over 300 square meters, it will most likely require emergency lighting and exit signs. 

The type of building or premises you have may also determine if there are specific lighting needs. Any kind of building that receives the general public, whether it be retail spaces or medical clinics, are required to have emergency lighting. 

This is also dependent on the class of building, as requirements change for the amount and placement of lights. Australian building codes use building classifications to designate the type of building, for example Class 2 buildings are apartment buildings and Class 5 buildings are office buildings that are used for professional or commercial purposes. Each class has its own requirements and professional fire safety technicians will be able to advise you on your specific needs. 

When looking at specific placements within a building, these areas generally require an emergency lighting system:

  • Fire-isolated stairways, ramps or passageways
  • Corridors, hallway or similar that on the route to an exit
  • Rooms that have a floor area of more than 100m2 but don’t open to a space that has emergency lighting, or an open space or road
  • Rooms that have a floor area of more than 300m2

At Brisbane Fire Services, we ensure that you have emergency lights in all the right places. Not only to meet regulations but also to provide the safest workplace possible for you, your staff or your customers. 

We will know where you need lights and what kind of lights you need, so you don’t have to worry. If you would like to have a professional manage all of your fire safety needs, get in touch with us today. We hope this article has given you a better understanding of exit lights and the emergency light testing requirements. If you would like to find out more or still have questions about how often to test emergency lighting, please reach out to our friendly team.

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