There are several ways to test an exit and emergency lighting installation, it all depends on the type of fittings installed and the testing system used in the building design.

All exits and emergency lights must be tested twice yearly to ensure they illuminate via battery backup power for a duration that would allow occupants to exit a building safely in the case of a power outage (a minimum of 90 minutes in AU, 30 or 90 min in NZ depending on the site). The results of the duration test, any defects/non-conformances and maintenance history shall be recorded in a paper or digital log book.


An appropriately qualified person such as a licensed electrician should be used to test and inspect the components of any style of emergency lighting system. The AS2293 standard includes requirements for testing of circuits and sensing of supply to the test facility which can only be performed by someone with the suitable qualifications.

Costs vary for emergency light duration testing depending on the products and system used.

For a single point/manually tested site (see Manual Duration Testing) a contractor may either charge a call out fee followed by an hourly rate or charge a flat fee determined by the number of fittings on the site. Fees can vary dramatically so it is recommended to choose a reputable contractor that can provide references. Keep in mind that the testing itself is one cost, fitting maintenance or complete product replacements will incur additional costs.

Every exit sign and emergency light will have a visible LED Charge indicator in either a red or green colour.

If the 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 battery charging failure.

Each fitting will also have a test button next to the indicator, holding this button down will momentarily put the fitting into emergency mode.

Ideally steps should be taken to ensure an emergency lighting system is in perfect health and all fittings are operational 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 necessary to demonstrate compliance.

Emergency and exit lights products can be purchased from electrical wholesale branches.

Generally, an electrical contractor will quote to supply, install and maintain the log book for your site. 

It is important that all parties responsible for the ongoing service, maintenance and compliance of this emergency lighting installation obtain copies of and are familiar with the Australian and New Zealand Standards AS2293 – Exit and emergency lighting for buildings in order to understand the full range of checks and procedures outside duration testing that are required for building compliance.

AS/NZS2293.2 outlines the Routine Service and Maintenance tasks that must be undertaken and recorded on a 6 monthly, 12 monthly and 10 yearly basis in order to ensure that the system operates correctly as per the installed design.

These additional tasks include but are not limited to:

– Cleaning of exit signs and luminaire diffusers to remove dirt and insects

– Visual inspection of fittings for damage or obstructions

– Inspection of the duration test facility for correct operation

– Inspect that replacement fittings installed during maintenance match the classification and spacing requirements of the original design

– Check directional arrows on exit signs are labelled as per the original design

– Review of the maintenance and service records to ensure any defects or non-conformance recorded during the previous tests and inspections have been rectified.