Some of the most neglected pieces of safety equipment in most businesses are their emergency lighting and exit signs. Both serve as an important guide to safety during an emergency, or any other power outage.
The emergency lighting and exit signs in a building have battery back ups similar to a fire alarm panel. If the power goes out, these lighting units must function for up to 1.5 hours to ensure the building’s occupants can exit to safety.
The most common type of battery found in most emergency lighting units are sealed lead acid batteries.These batteries should be tested or replaced, at least, once a year due to their short life expectancy. There are many cases where the batteries in emergency lighting has gone untested because people have simply forgot or they assume the batteries will last longer than they actually do. In most cases a tragedy could have been avoided by sticking to a simple testing routine.
Emergency lighting is important in all areas of your business. However, here are three examples of where it is crucial to make sure that your emergency lighting is working properly at all times:
In a warehouse there are the hazards of forklifts moving material around. There may also be pallets of material stacked in a manner to use space more efficiently. If the lights go out in the event of an emergency it is critical that employees be able to find their way out of a warehouse, quickly and safely.
In an area where heavy machinery is being used, a power outage can lead to serious injury, if not death. Most machines will also lose power and shut down during a power outage. However, if the power were to suddenly come back on while an employee was trying to get to safety they could easily walk right into dangerous machinery if they were unable to see where they were going.
During a natural disaster or fire, it is crucial for employees to be able to find a designated safe area like a tornado shelter, chemical safe room and exits to safety. If the emergency lighting isn’t maintained and in proper working condition, employees could wind up panicked and confused about the route to safety.
We offer comprehensive services for your emergency lighting systems that not only test the battery, we also ensure that the bulbs, casings and leads are in proper working condition. Often, when we test the client’s emergency lighting we find the battery is completely dead, but this may not be the only problem with the system.
We also test to make sure that the emergency lighting will be able to stay lit for 1.5 hours to ensure adequate battery charge. We perform this test by, simply keeping the test button depressed for the mandatory 1.5 hours by either placing a piece of tape over the button or wedging a toothpick between the test button and its casing to keep it depressed.
Regular, monthly tests should be conducted by the owner or safety manager of the building. This can be done by simply pushing the test button to ensure the lights are in working condition and that the battery is sufficiently charged.
IFC offers several different services to make sure your safety equipment is working properly. We bundle the services you need to make keeping your building safe more affordable and efficient.
If you aren’t sure if your safety equipment has been properly maintained and tested in accordance with local, state or federal compliance standards, please give us a call or click here and let us inspect and maintain your equipment to ensure you and your employees will be safe in the event of an emergency.