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Introduction to this document

Emergency lighting checklist and register

A common misconception is that once an emergency lighting system is installed, it will always work. This isn’t the case, and to make matters worse, many systems don’t alert you to the fact that there might be a problem. To address this potential issue, you need to carry out regular checks.

What are emergency lights?

Emergency lighting units are either the “self-contained”, where all components including the battery are contained within the unit, or “slave” type, where units are connected to a central battery system. The majority of emergency lighting units in the UK are self-contained so the test procedures here relate to that type of lighting. You should apply the testing not only to plain luminaires but also to internally illuminated exit signs.

Carrying out checks on emergency lighting

If you have an emergency lighting system installed in your premises, it should be tested by activation on a monthly basis and tested by fully discharging at least annually. Our Emergency Lighting Checklist and Register includes instructions to guide you through the testing process as well as enabling you to document the checks and any defects identified. The document should then be kept in your fire record book.


You should also keep a copy of any certificate issued when the system was commissioned or following alterations. It’s a good idea to also keep this in your fire record file.


Note. Many companies will have the annual testing carried out by a competent electrician to ensure that checking the battery function and charging is carried out correctly. This also provides an independent certificate of inspection.