EMERGENCY LIGHTING FOR
BUILDING OWNERS AND TENANTS
Ultimately it is the building owner or tenant that is responsible for ensuring compliance of the emergency and exit lighting within their building.
Emergency and exit lights must be installed, wired and tested by a licensed electrician with an understanding of the AS2293.1 standard and National Construction Code.
The ongoing testing and maintenance can then be managed by the electrician or a compliance or facility management company with knowledge in emergency lighting. It is important that the company engaged to manage the emergency lighting understands the system that is installed in the building the building has an automatic or computerised system that all replacement fittings match the system requirements.
All exits and emergency lights must be inspected and tested every 6 months to ensure they run for 90 minutes on battery by simulating a loss of power. The results of the duration test, any defects/non-conformances and maintenance history shall be recorded in a paper or digital log book.
There are three types of testing methods depending on the installation in your building.
- Manual Testing Method – Power is removed from the fittings and a walk through the site is completed at 90 minutes to ensure all lights are still illuminated.
- Self Test Method – Fittings automatically test every six months and results are recorded via LED indicator. A walk through is completed within 7 days to check the LED indicators on each fitting.
- Computerised Automatic System – Fittings automatically test every six months or on demand and a report is produced to show the status of each fitting.
A log book is either a hard copy book or digital version that contains all the information bout the emergency and exit lighting in your building.
It contains information about the type of lights, when they were installed, tested, replaced and who completed the work. With products like the CleverSparky App, which is a free digital logbook you can now compile all this information online in the cloud and update and access information when you need it.
Emergency and exit lighting is an essential life safety device and the non-compliance with regulations regarding its correct installation and maintenance jeopardises the safety of building occupants. There is a legal requirement to comply with NCC and AS/NZS 2293 and the WH&S legislation (OH&S in Victoria and WA) treats a serious breach as an indictable offence and carries a maximum penalty of $3 million for a corporation and a significant financial penalty and up to 5 years imprisonment for individuals.
Every exit sign and emergency light will have a visible LED Charge indicator in either a red or green colour.
If this indicator light is on it means that there is power to the fitting and that the battery is being charged. If the charge light is not illuminated it means that either there is no power to the fitting or it has suffered a control gear failure. Each fitting will also have a test button next to the indicator, holding this button down will momentarily put the fitting into battery mode.
Ideally steps should be taken to ensure an emergency lighting system is in perfect health an all fittings are in operation at all times.
If you notice any fittings that are not working and pose a risk to occupant safety, you should report them to the maintenance contractor or other responsible party.
That being said the twice-yearly scheduled duration tests will identify faults and list any defects or non-conformances for corrective action. Demonstrating proof that the required repairs identified during the duration test have been carried out is enough to demonstrate compliance.