The operational and maintenance costs of emergency equipment are high. The investment costs often account for 5-10% of the total costs for emergency lighting equipment.
When analysing operational and maintenance costs, the following should be taken into account:
- The equipment’s energy requirements
- Monthly testing and control of the fittings and light sources
- Annual testing and control of emergency power sources
- Materials and parts
- Work connected to maintenance
- Operational and maintenance documentation. Log keeping.
Monthly control of emergency fittings
Internal responsibility and control of all emergency light fittings including sign and escape route lights. The control involves testing that the light sources function in emergency mode and that the batteries charge correctly.
Routines for monthly control are described in BS EN 50172, point 7.2.3:
a) Simulation of power failure by switching each emergency light to emergency power (battery operation) for a sufficiently long period to ensure that the luminaire and light sources function as expected. Visual control of the equipment status is to be undertaken.
Maximum use of time during simulation of power outage to check that one or more emergency luminaires in each loop are at 25% for the lighting time.
Annual control of emergency power supply
Annual control insepction of light sources and luminaires is carried out for the entire emergency lighting duration period so that the batteries are decharged. This decharging test provides a check of operational time for the reserve power sources, whether this is voltage aggregate, centralised battery system or decentralised battery system. Visual control of the equipment status is to be undertaken.
Internal control and documentation
All emergency luminaires should have a logbook for logging of maintenance, inspections and the complete system status. The logbook should be kept on site by a responsible person nominated by the owner/user.
The following information should be logged:
- System start date.
- Date of each periodical inspection, control and test
- Date and short description of any errors
- Date and short description of type of any repairs
- Date and short description of any changes to the emergency lighting installation
If automatic test systems are in use, the function description and a user manual should be in place.
During shutdown and start up of emergency equiment, all relevant system information should be kept for the current installation.