Test An Exit Light

Exit signs should be tested once per month.

Exit lights are lighted signs that contain the word “Exit” on them. They are required by safety codes in all public buildings so that people can see the doors in case of a fire. The lights inside the signs glow red because it is most visible color through a smoky room. Although exit lights are usually wired into the main electrical system for the building, they also have backup battery power supplies that should tested once per month. Does this Spark an idea?


1. Go to the location of the exit sign and place a step stool directly underneath it. Climb up onto the step stool so that you can easily access the exit sign.

2. Examine the exit sign for a “test” or “push to test” button. This button is usually located either along the outer sides of the sign, or on the surface of the sign.

3. Press in on the test button and hold it for 30 seconds to test both the bulb and the battery backup supply for the exit light.

4. Watch the level of brightness of the light during the 30 seconds. If the lights start to dim or fade before you release the button, it indicates that the battery supply should be replaced. If the light does not come on at all, it indicates the bulb may be burnt out.

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