Testing Emergency Lighting

Posted on July 7, 2020 in Electrical

Testing Emergency Lighting

Maintaining your emergency lighting units is important to ensure that lighting tubes are actually working and that the back-up battery is capable to last the full duration required by the standards. The “responsible person” of a business or organisation ensures that the periodic checks are carried out and documented in a fire safety logbook. Below we have provided an overview of the testing procedure and testing frequencies.

To make the testing of your emergency lighting units quicker you can install self-test emergency lighting. These units automatically replicate a power cut, checking their own circuitry and functionality and should a fault be found the units create both a visual and audible warning.

Standards BS 5266-8:2004 and BS EN 50172:2004 describe the testing of emergency lighting units.

Maintaining your emergency lighting system

As with all emergency equipment, it’s essential emergency lighting is tested and maintained. Most businesses will appreciate this but there can be some variability about the understanding of exactly what’s needed! While this will be determined by individual emergency lighting systems, as a general guide most systems need to be tested as below:


Switch off the mains power supply to the lighting unit. Often, a separate switch with a ‘fish key’ is installed allowing the testing of emergency lights without having to switch off all power. Walk past all emergency lights to ensure they are working. Note any defects and get repaired immediately. Record your results in your fire safety logbook.


Switch off the mains power supply to the lighting unit. Leave the units illuminated for the rated period (usually three hours). The lights should be on for the whole period. If lights fail within this time, replace the back-up battery.

Is your emergency lighting meeting its legal requirements?

If you have any questions about the installation or maintenance of emergency lighting then please do contact us. We can carry out a free detailed survey of your premises and will advise you about complying with your fire safety legal obligations.

For information on our emergency lighting services please call 0845 604 1288 or visit Protech Lighting Solutions.