Should I invest in self-testing emergency lighting?

This question has been answered by the technical team at Ansell Lighting.

This question was asked by a reader in the US, where standards differ slightly from the UK and Europe (see boxout below).

Building owners and responsible persons such as facilities managers must be able to prove that their emergency lighting systems are consistently working correctly, and must maintain them in full working order. To ensure this, they would usually have to test each individual unit, keeping specific records of when it was tested. This is a time-consuming and costly task.

The LIA (Lighting Industry Association) has emphasised that automatic testing is far more effective and more reliable than manual testing. Virtually all buildings are required to have emergency lighting systems, to ensure that the building occupants can exit safely in the event of a building emergency. So what are the real benefits of self-testing emergency lighting?

Installing a self-testing emergency lighting system is easy and one of the best ways to meet fire safety regulations. These systems remove the need to manually test and record every emergency light fixture within a building – or across an entire estate, saving you and your business valuable time and money.

The units carry out automatic, regular testing without disruption to normal use of the building. If failures are indicated when conducting the tests, maintenance personnel are notified via a visual indication at the fixture. This not only saves maintenance and facilities personnel from having to test every individual light, it means they are only required to attend to units with reported faults. Such faults are reported almost as they occur, whereas manual inspections are only required once a month.

Automatic emergency lighting testing is a more cost-effective option, costing less overall to own and maintain, while also providing reassurance to building owners and occupiers that they are in compliance with building regulations.

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John Bullock: askjohn@luxreview.com

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