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As a leading provider of wet location emergency lighting, The Exit Store understands that keeping equipment safe means keeping occupants safe as well. If you own or run a business, you may understand the importance of exit and emergency lighting, yet aren’t quite sure if they require inspections. Well, the hard and fast answer is yes, they do. Emergency lighting isn’t as simple as installing and forgetting about it: there are vital points to familiarize yourself with to ensure your facility is up to code, and everyone is kept safe in the event of an emergency.

Rules and Regulations

The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) 101: Life Safety Code and Fire Prevention Code provides particular inspection and testing requirements for both exit and emergency lighting, including:

Monthly Inspection: This should be conducted every 30 days by the owner or an appointed individual. Regulations require that all emergency lighting (including exit signs) get a 30-second test for functionality. If you see that lights are dimming or there are burnt-out bulbs, you should arrange for maintenance or repairs. Keeping written records of these monthly inspections is advised.

However, there is an exception. For battery-operated self-testing or self-diagnostic exit and emergency lighting that automatically runs these 30-second tests at least every 30 days, you’ll only need to inspect it visually every month.

Annual Test: Once a year, a certified fire protection service provider is required to conduct a test on emergency lighting. The test is to last one and a half hours and involves cutting off AC power to the lights. This process ensures the lights and equipment function properly for the full duration of time on battery power alone. Anything connected to the relevant breaker will also lose power — so plan this test appropriately.

Entities like OSHA, the International Fire Code, and the International Building Code provide codes that regulate the inspection and maintenance of your facility’s exit and emergency lighting. Your local authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) has the final say on what standards must be enforced, and may even add more of their own.

Neglecting Inspection of Emergency & Exit Lighting

Failing to adhere to codes for emergency and exit lighting can result in numerous consequences.

For more information about all of our indoor or outdoor exit signs and emergency lighting, contact The Exit Store today.

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