A Complete Guide to Your Emergency Lighting Tests

Updated: Sep 28, 2020

Maintaining your emergency lighting units is important to ensure that lights are actually working and that any necessary remedial works is performed in a timely manner. The responsible person responsible for the maintenance regime of a business or organisation should ensure that regular periodic checks are carried out as described below.


BS 5266 is the Code of Practice for emergency lighting systems.

Testing is normally performed by operating a switch. The switch is normally located near the main fuse board or adjacent to relevant light switches. Switches are operated using a 'secret key' or 'fish key' to prevent non-authorised operation of the test switches


Depending on the type of installation, trained members of staff should be able to carry out most of the routine tests by themselves. As the test methods will vary, there may be some doubt, in which case it is recommended that advice is sought from the supplier or another competent person.

Self test devices can be installed to negate the need for this test regime.


The following tests should be performed each month:

  • Switch off the mains power supply to the emergency lighting unit. This can be done at a central test facility or a local test facility using a fish key.

  • Ensure all emergency lights illuminate and are in good condition.

  • Record your results in your logbook.

  • Any remedial work should be reported to your service organisation for rectification.


We are happy to walk you through these steps and provide you further training. We can even perform some or all these tests on your behalf.

Please get in touch on 01257 463018 or email sales@solidstatesecurity.co.uk