For workplace safety, emergency lighting and exit signs must be tested and maintained. In an emergency, keeping these units in good working order will assist your employees in safely navigating to other work locations or outside. 

The purpose of emergency and exit lighting, as well as the relevance of testing and maintaining these units, should be understood by facility managers and supervisors.

Fire exit signs are signs that show how to evacuate a large commercial facility, such as a shopping mall or a business organization, in the event of an emergency. They usually include the word “EXIT” in large caps on a red or green background to ensure that no one misses them. 

They can also be found with a moving person icon and an arrow pointing people in the appropriate direction to escape. These signs is normally emergency lighting, sometimes self-luminous and occasionally with extra lights.


Locating the Exit

In the event of an emergency, employees and visitors may need to rapidly locate an exit or a secure location within the office. Visible exit signs and backup emergency lighting can help individuals navigate the building in the event of a power failure.

Exit signs must be visible from no more than 100 feet or the specified viewing distance, according to the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP). All ‘egress paths,’ including ceiling height and continuous width, must have these signs, according to the BFP. 

Incandescent bulbs are used to light many exit signs. As a business owner, you should consider installing emergency and exit lighting that is internally hooked into emergency backup power, ensuring that lighting is maintained in the case of a power outage. Internally wired backup power may not be available in many circumstances, thus business owners should consider new batteries for any battery-backed systems.


Maintaining and Testing


Visual inspections are performed once every 30 days

Checking for and fixing any loose or exposed wiring (frayed wiring is itself a fire hazard and loose wiring can be accidentally snagged and lead to further damage). Exit signs and emergency lights should be attached securely to the wall or ceiling. 

Examine the housing for any cracks or blemishes, since cracked outside units may need to be replaced due to water seepage. To safeguard these units from physical damage, consider installing protective guards and shields.


Functional inspections 

These units should be subjected to a number of functional tests on a monthly or annual basis. These tests are designed to look for damage to the lights’ appearance and ensure that they are working properly.

Most equipment has two types of testing mechanisms: manual testing (pressing and holding the ‘Test Button’ on the unit) and self-testing (pushing and holding the ‘Test Button’ on the unit) (i.e., has built-in circuitry that can perform the 30 second monthly and 90 minute annual tests).

You must locate the ‘push-to-test’ button on manual testing equipment, which interrupts AC power and engages the backup battery. Exit signs should remain lit, and emergency lighting should be activated. Hold the button down for 30 seconds, making sure the illumination remains on the entire time.


For facilities with a large number of units, self-testing equipment is perfect. 

It contains a ‘push-to-test’ button as well as a diagnostic LED that glows when the test is completed. The 30-second test can be started by pressing the button twice. Examine the LED tell-tale after a while. 

A steady green signifies normal operation, whereas red suggests a malfunction. You can also arrange the units to automatically run a 30-second battery test every 30 days.


Keep written records of all testing and maintenance for future reference

Document the location of any unit that was not tested as well as the reason for the lack of testing.


Final Thoughts

Would your employees or visitors know where the nearest emergency exit is in the case of an emergency in your facility? It is critical that your employees and visitors feel secure in your facilities.

The majority of countries have their own fire exit signs to indicate how a person can depart a building in an emergency. The majority of them have authorities who enforce the regulation that all buildings must have exit signs. 

The number of such emergency exits is determined by the building’s size and nature. They can be found on practically every floor and in every corner of public buildings such as hospitals and movie theaters. 

In the case of a two-story residence, there may be only one exit, which does not require a sign because the residents will know how to go out.

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