There are many types of electrical testing that businesses may need. Landlords will need regular EICR testing. Schools and office buildings need PAT testing on electric equipment. Business premises also need a regular emergency lighting test. This is done via a 3 hour drop test.
What is a 3 hour drop test?
A 3 hour drop test is an emergency lighting test in which the state of all emergency lights will be determined. The mains power to a premise will be shut off to allow the emergency lighting to illuminate and the engineer to inspect the lighting.
The annual emergency lighting test will check that all emergency lighting stays illuminated for a minimum of 1 hour. Different emergency lights will have different luminaire ratings, however, all must stay on for a minimum of 1 hour, and some for up to 3 hours.
How long does it take?
It may seem an obvious answer however, it isn’t. Here at NLT Electrical we usually allow 5 hours for an emergency lighting test. The 3 hour drop test only accounts for the time the mains power is off.
It is also advisable that the test be carried out at the quietest possible time. This is to ensure minimal disruption to operation and reduced health and safety risks. Manufacturing or large office buildings would be better tested during shutdown or over a weekend to minimise the number of people on site.
Is it a legal requirement?
Yes. Legislation in the UK requires all business premises to have emergency lighting. Offices, factories, pubs, clubs, schools, hospitals and tents and marquees must have emergency lights. All these lights need to be fully tested annually and any faults need to be remedied as soon as possible. Faulty or broken emergency lighting could void insurance policies so regular testing is advised to ensure the safety of everyone on site.
Where are emergency lights installed?
Emergency lighting should be installed throughout a premises especially areas of notable risk, points of interest and toilets and reception areas. Stairwells, reception areas and other areas exceed 8m² should have emergency lighting as if they were open areas.
Areas such as kitchens, first aid rooms, escalators, lifts and receptions areas are all areas of notable risk. Due to the high footfall or important role they play within a premises, these areas are of particular risk. Emergency exits such as fire doors, need to be illuminated by emergency lighting above the door.
In addition, the emergency lighting should illuminate firefighting equipment such as fire alarm call points and portable fire extinguishers, either on escape routes or elsewhere within the building. Emergency evacuation equipment also needs illuminating allowing the safe use and operation of such equipment to escape the building or fight the fire.
Require an emergency lighting test? Are you unsure as to when a full test was done? Please get in touch. Our team of experts will be able to advice on the next steps and offer a free, no-obligation quote.Posted on 11th August 2021