Employer Emergency Light Inspection Requirements

Under British law, employers have to provide and inspect emergency lighting in workplaces. The inspection serves to ensure that the emergency lighting will work adequately in the case of an emergency, sufficiently light the escape routes and enable the location of firefighting equipment. There are different components to the emergency light inspection.

Function Test

Employers should conduct a function test of emergency lighting once a month to check that they operate adequately. The lighting system’s charging indicators should be operating correctly to ensure that the system will perform in an emergency. Employers also should log the results of this test.

Discharge Test

Another aspect of the employer emergency light testing requirements law in Britain is testing of the emergency lighting for satisfactory operation under a discharge test. Employers should perform a discharge test once a year and log the results of the test. In the case of new equipment, another alternative is to conduct a one-hour test every six months for the first three years of equipment use.

Manual Test

Use a separate switch for each final circuit if you are conducting a manual test of the emergency lighting system, unless you are switching off the whole building. This means that you will likely have to walk around the building two times: one time to check the lights and a second time to see that they are recharging. The test switches should be of a tamper proof quality. You also should log the performance of the lights after conducting the manual testing.


The British law states that landlords should have a written declaration of compliance with these emergency light inspection requirements on their premises to be available for inspection. This declaration should provide information about the installation quality of the lighting, its photometric performance and provide a log of all system tests and results.

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