What To Do When Emergency Exit Lights Are Not Working

October 1, 2021


Emergency exit lights are designed to last for a long time, but even so, there may come a time when they stop working. You don’t want this time to occur in an emergency situation when you may rely on them to direct people to a safe exit point. The results of exit lighting not working in these situations could be disastrous, so it is important to properly maintain your fire safety lighting to ensure it never lets you down when you need it most.

As a building or business owner, it is your responsibility to ensure the maintenance and upkeep of all of your fire safety items. You are legally required to make sure everything is functional at all times, and identify and fix any issues or faults when they arise. This is the same for when emergency exit lights stop working. It’s important not just for the safety of your employees and customers, but also to remain compliant with the fire safety regulations in your area. You can find yourself receiving large fines if your Brisbane business is not meeting QLD development code MP6.1, Building Fire Safety Regulation 2008 and all relevant Australian Standards.

Find out more about your legal fire safety obligations here.

Why emergency exit lights might not be working


There are a few reasons why your emergency exit light may not be working. The first thing to do is try to determine why the light has stopped working to be able to fix it. Sometimes this could be as simple as the lamp being burned out, but it could also be a more complex problem, such as a problem with the wiring or the reserve battery.

There are three main components of exit lights:

Main lamps: The emergency exit lights in your building should remain illuminated constantly. If your lights ever stop working, it could be that the main lamps have blown or burnt out. A properly maintained system will have one or more lamps, so this is an important component to check if your lights ever stop working. It’s essential that you have a regular maintenance and testing schedule in place for all lamps and the entire light systems.

Wiring: The wiring inside exit lights ensures that all connections are working and it maintains constant power. Whether by electricity or battery (or both), the power source and lighting system needs correct and secure wiring to work properly. When the wiring is compromised, the lights may not illuminate in emergency situations.

Reserve battery: Emergency exit lights will have reserve batteries that ensure the light works if mains power is lost. If these reserve batteries are defective or run out of power, your light system will be compromised and may not work in emergency situations. Batteries need to be regularly tested and changed if they don’t appear to be working.

Exit & Emergency light testing requirements


Regular emergency light testing is the best way to stay on top of your systems and ensure they work properly. By doing this, you are likely to catch any malfunctions before your lights stop working entirely. You don’t want to find out your lights don’t work in a fire emergency and you need them to guide the safe exit of building occupants.

If you notice your lights have stopped working, the first thing you should do is contact a fire safety specialist to come and inspect them. At Brisbane Fire Services, we provide exit light periodic inspection, testing, tube replacement and cleaning as per Australian Standard 2293.2. An expert will be able to tell you why the lights have stopped working, and provide a fix or a new light for you. The best bit about engaging with a fire safety specialist is that they can fix your broken lights and also manage the periodic inspection and testing of them so that they never stop working again.

Routine testing of your exit lights should happen at 6 and 12 month intervals. This will ensure everything is in working order and that relevant compliance requirements are being met, accurately recorded, and conducted.

Your emergency exit lights are essential to your fire safety equipment and to the safety of you, your employees, and customers. If your workplace ever experiences a fire emergency, exit lights will be able to guide occupants to the closest exit point and away from danger.

Brisbane Fire Services can ensure your emergency exit lights are working correctly, you have them in all the right places, and your workplace meets all regulations and is a safe environment for all.

We can handle everything for you, from inspection, testing, equipment repairs or replacements, and managing the regular testing schedule for you.

Get in touch with us by calling 0499 198 427 or contacting us online here.


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