How to Inspect Emergency Lighting in the Workplace

In the workplace, there are plenty of emergency services that need to be kept up to date. After an annual inspection of your fire extinguishers, fire alarms, there may still be some features you can’t forget to check.

Fire exits and emergency lighting need to be part of your regular inspections as well. They can help you in the event of an emergency by properly showing the safest route of exit. In the event of a power outage, emergency lights provide lighting to the building and are imperative in providing visuals during an emergency. Here’s how to Inspect emergency lighting in an office building.

When are Emergency Lights Activated?

In the event of an emergency or power outage, the emergency lights will automatically be turned on. Most office buildings are equipped with this and it’s important for the building or office manager to check on these services.

Tom Divine at Consulting-Specifying Engineer recommends testing emergency lights once a month:

“Lamps and power sources must be periodically tested to verify that they continue to function in accordance with code requirements. All emergency lighting systems, regardless of their power source, must be tested monthly for a period of at least 30 seconds. For unit equipment, monthly testing typically consists of a short test of the battery and lamp, implemented by a test switch on the luminaire.”


Replace Bulbs

It seems like a simple task, but replacing bulbs is important to the emergency lights functioning. As part of checking the emergency lights, ensure every light turns on and isn’t malfunctioning or dead. As building manager or fire marshal, you should also make sure that extra light bulbs can be easily accessed in the building, so that there are always a few spare bulbs available.

John Bullock at Lux Review explains whose responsibility it is to maintain emergency lighting in the workplace:

“Anyone who has some control over a premises must take reasonable steps to reduce the likelihood of fire and ensure sure people can safely escape if there is a fire. An employer or other designated responsible person who has control over the premises or activities that take place on the premises, has responsibilities under the Fire Safety Reform Order 2005.”


Replace Batteries

Most emergency lights rely on the building’s backup generator system, triggered during emergency alarms or a power outage. If your emergency lighting system runs on its own battery power, ensure that the batteries are fully charged and check if they need to be changed. This usually has to be checked at least once a year. It’s also important to check the building’s generator system to make sure that the battery is charged and is able to turn on in an emergency.

Koorsen Fire & Security further explains the important of emergency lighting:

“The purpose of emergency lighting is to ensure adequate lighting is provided when the power supply to the normal lighting fails. Emergency lighting is key in making sure people can exit a building safely in the event of an emergency. Emergency lighting illuminates the means of egress which includes stairs, aisles, corridors, ramps, and escalators leading to an exit.”

The best way to check if the emergency lighting system works is through inspections. You can also inspect this during fire test drills. If you need your emergency services inspected in the workplace, contact us using our contact form.