We were recently called to one of our clients who was experiencing problems with their Emergency Lighting, one of the Exit lights was bleeping every few minutes. Annoying!
Monthly Emergency Lighting Check
On arrival I was told that they had experienced a power failure over the weekend and the power had been out for more than 12 hours. I have never known Emergency lights to have an audible alarm in the unit, so this was a new situation for me to deal with. However, I had a suspicion that it wasn’t the Emergency light that was causing the problem. One of the fire alarm sounders was sited just behind the light and I was beginning to suspect it was the Fire Alarm that was causing the noise.
Every few minutes the bleeping continued, so I decided to contact the manufacturer to find out more about the light. Having spoken to the support team it became apparent that the light does have an audible alarm. I was advised to replace the internal batteries when resetting the light to a pre-commission state failed to stop the bleeping. Having isolated the mains and disconnected the light from the mains power, I reset the light but after a short period the bleeping continued. I arranged for new batteries to be delivered and fitted the following day. The fitting of the batteries and recommissioning the light fixed the alarm problem and the client was happy. The call out and replacement of the batteries was documented in the Fire Log Book, which highlighted to me that the client had not documented any of the monthly Emergency lighting checks which should have been completed. A monthly emergency lighting check is a requirement under the BS 5266-1: 2011 (Code of practice for the emergency lighting of premises). Which states: The occupier / owner of the premises shall appoint a competent person to supervise servicing of the emergency lighting system. This person shall be given sufficient authority to ensure the carrying out of any work necessary to maintain the system in correct operational mode.
A competent person is someone who has the necessary training or experience, access to the requisite tools, equipment and information, and is capable of carrying out a defined task. You must ensure that regular checks and periodic servicing and maintenance is carried out whatever the size of the premises and any defects put right as quickly as possible.
It is recommended that checks and tests are carried out as follows: –
Emergency Lighting Daily Check
All safety lighting units will have a visual indicator, usually a small red or green lamp, which, when functioning normally, will be illuminated. This indicates that the unit battery is receiving a constant electrical charge from the mains. This indicator lamp should be checked daily for operation. This simple check can be undertaken by staff who routinely work in a particular area for units in that area and any defects should be reported immediately for remedial attention.
Monthly Emergency Lighting Check
You should switch a light on in the emergency mode by operating the unit’s test facility usually using a fish tail key. If an integrated test facility is not provided, then the sub circuit (not the mains supply) for that particular area should be interrupted for a period sufficient for all units to be checked by walking past all emergency lights to ensure they are working. At the end of the test the supply should be restored and a final check of each unit to ensure that the mains supply indicator lamp is operating normally. Any defects should be recorded in your fire safety logbook and get repaired immediately.
At FTS Safety Solutions we offer a monthly maintenance package where we come onto the premises and carry out the monthly check for you and document in your Fire Safety Logbook and arrange for any remedial action/repairs to be completed.
We can also complete the six-monthly and the annual discharge inspection and tests so that your business meets with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
Until next time stay safe