How Often Do You Test Your Emergency Lights?

Emergency lights are a vital safety feature mandatory in all commercial usage buildings. If the lights suddenly go out in even the most familiar of places, people will become disorientated. Some will panic. A functional emergency light system can help people safely exit a building.

Monthly and yearly emergency light testing is as vital to a building as fixed wire testing. Fixed wire testing can prevent problems, but sometimes the unexpected occurs, and a building is plunged into darkness. It is up to a comprehensive and working emergency light system to get people out of a building if the mains fail. 

Emergency light testing is carried out a lot more frequently than fixed wire testing. In most buildings, it is safe to carry out fixed wire testing every five years. If problems are detected and repaired right away with the electrical installations and circuit accessories, they are unlikely to decay into a hazard in five years. An emergency light system might work at the start of the day, but by the end, someone could have blocked a signed posted emergency exit. 

Those big green signs over emergency exits are the most noticeable part of the emergency light system. The way to the emergency exit should be clearly signposted. Members of the public who won’t be familiar with the building’s layout use a lot of commercial premises, such as restaurants and cinemas. 

Another feature of the emergency light system is the fire fighting equipment hanging on walls, such as fire extinguishers and axes. This should be accessible. 

Stairways require a way for people to exit the building safely. In the event of a power failure, the lifts will be inaccessible. Luminescent strips on each step can form part of the emergency lights system. Landings with an emergency exit should be clearly signposted. 

A named responsible person should carry out daily and weekly checks of the emergency light system. The designated responsible person should carry out daily visual checks, looking for any signs of damage to the emergency signs. They should then order needed repairs. Emergency exits need to be checked to make sure the doors still open, and nothing is blocking them. 

A named responsible person can carry out the daily and weekly checks and order any repairs. A professional needs to carry out the monthly and yearly checks. 

Once per month, the emergency light system needs to be checked by switching off the mains. With the mains off, each part of the emergency light system should glow. If it doesn’t, repairs are needed. Once the mains are back on, each part needs to be checked again, this time to make sure it is charging. 

Every year, the mains need to be switched off for an extended amount of time for a duration test. This will last about three hours. It is to make sure no part of the system loses its brightness during this time. It can be scheduled outside of business hours.


  1. This is really helpful thank you

  2. This is something the ordinary person would never think about!

  3. Really useful information, thank you