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Emergency Light Testing

Emergency Light testing is a legal requirement, why not make it part of a pre planned maintenance schedule with C|S|M. We can include this as part of a regular handyman service.

The legal requirement 

Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, article 17 details the Responsible Person duty on maintenance;

17.(1) Where necessary in order to safeguard the safety of relevant persons the responsible person must ensure that the premises and any facilities, equipment and devices provided in respect of the premises under this Order or, subject to paragraph (6), under any other enactment, including any enactment repealed or revoked by this Order, are subject to a suitable system of maintenance and are maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair.

Emergency lighting falls under this article as its function is to indicate means of escape, provide illumination along routes to allow safe egress through escape routes and exits provided, and to ensure fire alarm points, extinguishers, etc can be readily located.

British Standard BS5266 is the official guidance document in regards to emergency lighting with Part 1, 2005 and Part 8, 2004 dealing with maintenance and servicing.

Please find below a summary of the guidance on testing emergency lighting from BS5266 Part 8, 2004. The British Standard is not a legal requirement, however it is a good benchmark from where the fire authority and other enforcing authorities will refer. To demonstrate compliance and 'due diligence' other testing arrangements could be put in place as long as they are to the same standard or better than the relevant British Standard.

Guidance on Testing Emergency Lighting from Bs5266 Part 8, 2004


Monthly tests are required called a flick test.The results of automatic testing devices need to be recorded.

a) Switch on in the emergency mode each luminaries and each internal illuminated exit sign by simulation for a period sufficient to ensure that each lamp is illuminated.

All luminaires and signs need to be checked to ensure that they are present, clean and functioning correctly.

At the end of this test, the supply to the normal lighting should be restored and any indicator lamp or device checked to ensure that it is showing that the normal supply has been restored.

b) In addition to the above, for central battery systems, the correct operation needs to be checked.

c) In addition to both of the above, for generating sets, please refer to the requirement of ISO 8528-12.

The period of simulated failure should be sufficient for the purpose of this clause whilst minimising damage to the system components e.g. lamps. This would involve a ‘flick’ test and inspection of each emergency lighting unit. Where there are a large number of units, this could be split into sections on a rotational basis; the site specific fire risk assessment should detail site specific requirements.


Annual tests are required called a dead test.The results of automatic testing devices need to be recorded.

a) each luminaire and internal illuminated sign needs to be tested for it's full duration in accordance with the manufacturer's information;

b) the supply of the regular lighting needs to be restored and any indicator lamp/device checked to ensure that it's showing that normal supply has been restored.

c) the date of the test and its results must be recorded in the system logbook;

d) in addition, for generating sets, refer to the requirements of ISO-12.

As well as following the monthly test procedure, a full test of the units full duration in accordance with manufacturer’s guidance and then regular lighting to be restored and check any indicator lamps/devices to ensure normal supply is restored; the fire risk assessment should detail the site specific requirements.

Where emergency lighting is being installed, the Occupier/Owner must ensure a completion certificate is obtained to show the system is installed in line with the requirements of BS5266, Part1, 2005.