How Often Do Emergency / Exit Lights Need to be Inspected?

Posted April 04, 2018 by Koorsen Fire & Security

How Often Do Emergency / Exit Lights Need to be Inspected?

Everyone sees them – the emergency / exit lights that mark the doors and exit paths in literally every building besides someone’s personal home.

But not many know that it is actually required by law to not only have those lights, but to test them regularly as well.

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If you own or manage a building, in order to avoid fines and unnecessary endangerment of employees, customers, and property, it is vital you know what these laws are and know when and how to check and test your emergency / exit lights.

What are the Regulations?

Emergency and exit lighting is well regulated.

Some of the more common regulations specify:

  • where exit signs must be located and how floors must be illuminated
  • how far apart the lighting is and how lit an area should be even if a bulb should burn out
  • the duration that the light should last in an emergency situation

All aspects of exit and emergency lighting, from placement, installation, etc., are regulated by:

  • NFPA 70: National Electric Code
  • NFPA 101: Life Safety Code (LSC)
  • LSC Section 5-8: Illumination of Means of Egress
  • LSC Section 5-9: Emergency Lighting
  • LSC Section 5-10: Marking of Means of Egress
  • LSC Section 31-1: Operating Features, General Requirements
  • Standard Fire Prevention Code 1999: Section 807.1.4
  • OSHA Code of Federal Regulations
  • International Fire Code

But it is LSC Sections 5-9.3 and 31-1.3.7, and Standard Fire Prevention Code 1999 that specifically address the frequency of checking and testing the emergency / exit lights.

What do the Regulations Require?

NFPA 101 LSC and Standard Fire Prevention Code provide a couple of very specific inspection and testing requirements for exit and emergency lighting:

  • Monthly Inspection: inspection, which can be done by the owner or an appointed person, should be carried out every 30 days (i.e. – monthly).

    The regulations require that exit signs and illumination and emergency lighting get a 30-second test of their functionality, and it is advised that written records be kept by the owner of these monthly inspections.
  • Annual Test: once a year, an outside party is required to come in to conduct a test on emergency and exit lighting. The test is to last 1.5 hours, ensuring that the lights and equipment function properly for that full duration of time on battery power.

Are You up to Code?

When was the last time your emergency / exit lights were inspected and tested?

If you’re not sure, or if you believe they are in need of maintenance, give the experts at Koorsen a call. They will send out a team of trained technicians to check your system and ensure it is up to code.

Call now to learn more and request a quote.

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Topics: Emergency/Exit Lighting

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Disclaimer: The information in this article is for informational purposes only. It is believed to be reliable, but Koorsen Fire & Security assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions in the content of this article. It does not constitute professional advice. The user of this article or the product(s) is responsible for verifying the information's accuracy from all available sources, including the product manufacturer. The authority having jurisdiction should be contacted for code interpretations.