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Do My Emergency Exit & Safety Lights Need to Be Inspected?

Posted on: September 24, 2017

Illuminated exit signs and emergency lighting should be an integral part of your building’s safety and evacuation plan. While installing the proper signage and backup lighting is the first step, you can’t take it for granted that your emergency lights will always function as intended. Years could pass before a disaster strikes and triggers a power outage that makes your safety lighting come on.

To make sure they provide the illumination you expect, you should have your emergency exit and safety lights inspected in accordance with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 101 Life Safety Code. State Systems, Inc. is here to keep your building safe and compliant with all applicable regulations.

Why Inspect Your Emergency Exit & Safety Lights?

With so many other responsibilities to worry about when running a business, it’s easy to overlook the importance of examining your emergency exit and safety lights. However, this is a vital component of building safety and code compliance. Here are the top three reasons to inspect and test your emergency lighting system regularly:

  • Make sure your lights work when you need them most: Years of neglect could mean backup batteries have failed, wires have come loose, or bulbs have burned out. You’ll never know this until disaster strikes—and by then, it’s too late to act. Routine inspections give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your emergency system is ready to go if you need it.
  • Encourage an orderly evacuation: When the lights go out, people begin to panic, but when backup lighting kicks in, everyone breathes a sigh of relief. This is when an orderly evacuation can occur. In this scenario, people are less likely to trip and fall, or worse, get turned around inside the building and be unable to escape. This is why emergency lighting is so essential for maintaining a calm atmosphere and helping everyone get out safely.
  • Keep your Mid-South building code compliant: The law requires you to inspect and test your exit and emergency lighting system regularly. Failure to comply with this requirement could lead to liabilities and fines. Avoid code compliance issues by keeping up with mandatory inspections and tests.

What Is Involved in a Monthly Emergency Lighting Inspection?

The most important part of a monthly emergency lighting inspection is the 30-second activation test designed to ensure adequate light bulb and backup battery function. This involves cutting the power to simulate a blackout when the emergency lights should activate automatically. It’s important to sustain the test for a full 30 seconds because bad batteries sometimes hold a residual charge. This may be enough to turn the lights on, but it’s insufficient to keep them lit.

The other parts of a monthly emergency lighting inspection are geared toward making sure everything looks right. In addition to the 30-second test, you can expect your technician to check for any physical damage, such as exposed wires or loose screws, as well as check all electrical connections and charge lamps as needed.

What Do Annual Safety Lighting Tests Entail?

Once a year, more in-depth testing is required to confirm that your safety lighting system will perform as expected in a real emergency. The 90-minute discharge test is the most important part. This pushes the backup batteries to their limit with a longer blackout simulation. If the lights or batteries fail during the test, the technician makes repairs and adjustments as needed. He or she then ensures the batteries fully recharge once power is restored.

Other annual safety lighting tests include:

  • Disconnecting the AC power supply to each unit
  • Checking batteries and lenses for corrosion or other damage
  • Cleaning the unit and lens if needed
  • Adjusting and tightening the beam for proper placement
  • Measuring the charging system voltage, battery output voltage, and line voltage

Keeping a Record of Your Emergency & Safety Lighting Inspections

If your building is audited, you want to be able to show maintenance records to prove you have kept up with inspection and testing requirements. At State Systems, we maintain your service records using a web-based inspection reporting solution called BuildingReports.

With this system, you don’t have to stress about keeping track of paper documents at your facility. If an unexpected auditor ever arrives at your door, simply contact us, and we’ll supply your service records immediately.

Schedule Emergency & Exit Lighting Inspections in the Mid-South

When it comes to installing the right emergency lighting and exit signage, State Systems has you covered. You can also count on us for help with conducting monthly inspections and thorough annual tests. We’re proud to be a one-stop-shop for all your life and property protection needs.

To learn more about our services, please contact State Systems today. We serve businesses throughout the Mid-South, including Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi.

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