Emergency lighting testing

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    Emergency lighting testing

    Dear All,

    A quick question:

    Do Landlords/RMCs require to have formally certified annual emergency lighting checks? As that’s what our property manager is suggesting.

    We live in a small block of flats and the RMC Director does the ongoing inspections including emergency lighting checks and fire safety risk assessments and record keeping ( he works in building maintenance by the way).

    We have checked various websites including Arma, the Electrical Safety Council’s website and firesafe.co.uk for legal requirements of emergency lighting testing and we couldn’t find such.
    We have also spoken to a senior electrical engineer in building maintenance and he said both monthly and annual checks can be carried out and logged by a competent person and that the only legal requirement for annual checks is that they should be “full rated duration tests to ensure the lights are still working”.

    So my understanding is that annual tests do not require certifications from a trained engineer, such person would only be needed for corrective actions if a fault was discovered during testing.

    I was told to follow this document when maintaining emergency lighting and carry out risk assessments:


    No mention of certified annual emergency lighting checks in this either

    Are we all missing something?

    Has there been a recent change in law that we are not aware of?


    Emergency lighting would need to be tested according to the manufacturer's instructions. In practice, that will certainly involved annual test involving deep cycling the battery, and ma well require preventative replacement of batteries every few years.

    None of the tests require certification, but you have to be very sure that the person that does the work is a "competent person" for the work.

    The rated duration tests are really tests of the batteries, not the lights.

    In general legislation never goes into this level of detail, because technology changes and detailed legislation will get locked into old technology.

    Record keeping is particularly important if you do it yourself.

    Fire risk assessments also only require a competent person, although you have the normal professional services thing that, if a consultant does it, you are covered by their insurance if they get it wrong, but if you do it, you are personally at risk.

    I would say the normal expectation would be, monthly checks: competent resident;

    Annual checks: specialist company;

    Full fire risk assessments (every five years or on significant change): specialist company.

    Reviews: management company directors;

    Routing checks and inspections: competent resident.

    Record keep everything.


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