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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 log book. Below we have provided an overview of the testing procedure and testing frequencies.

Please note that when you purchase emergency lighting from Safelincs you will be offered to register for a free emergency lighting test reminder at the end of the checkout process. We will then email or text you to remind you when the tests are due.

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.


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 log book.


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.


Reviewed: 01/07/2019 (doc:71 V1.0). Our articles are reviewed regularly. However, any changes made to standards or legislation following the review date will not have been considered. Please note that we provide abridged, easy-to-understand guidance. To make detailed decisions about your fire safety provisions, you might require further advice or need to consult the full standards and legislation.


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