How to check that an emergency light is charging

Emergency Lighting

Checking that an emergency light is charging is a crucial aspect of ensuring its readiness for operation during power failures or emergencies. Australian Standard AS 2293.1:2018 provides specific guidelines for the inspection and testing of emergency lighting systems within buildings.

1. Visual Inspection: Begin by visually inspecting the emergency light to ensure that it is in good condition. Verify that there are no visible signs of damage, corrosion, or other issues that may affect its functionality. AS 2293.1:2018 emphasizes the importance of regular visual inspections to identify any obvious faults.

2. Check Power Indicator: Most emergency lights have a power indicator that shows whether the unit is receiving power and charging. Verify that the power indicator is illuminated, indicating that the emergency light is connected to a power source and actively charging. AS 2293.1:2018 highlights the significance of checking these indicators during routine inspections.

3. Test Button Functionality: Many emergency lights come equipped with a test button. Press the test button to simulate a power failure and confirm that the emergency light switches on as intended. This action helps ensure that the charging mechanism is functional, and the light can operate during an actual emergency.

4. Battery Voltage Check: Periodically measure the voltage of the emergency light's battery to assess its charging status. The battery voltage should align with the manufacturer's specifications, indicating that the battery is being charged appropriately. AS 2293.1:2018 recommends routine battery voltage checks to ensure reliability.

5. Functional Testing: Conduct regular functional tests on the emergency light to confirm its operational status. AS 2293.1:2018 specifies that functional tests should be performed at intervals not exceeding six months, ensuring that the light can switch on automatically during power failures and provide adequate illumination along escape routes.

6. Duration Test: Perform an annual duration test to assess the emergency light's ability to sustain illumination for the required duration. AS 2293.1:2018 mandates this test to ensure that the light can provide adequate illumination throughout the specified duration during an extended power outage.

7. Charging System Inspection: Inspect the charging system components, including the charging circuit and associated wiring, to ensure they are in good condition. Any faults or damage to the charging system may affect the light's ability to charge and operate effectively. Regular inspections, as recommended by AS 2293.1:2018, help identify and address such issues.

8. Temperature Monitoring: Monitor the operating temperature of the emergency light, especially the battery, during normal operation and testing. AS 2293.1:2018 advises that temperature extremes can impact battery performance, and regular monitoring helps identify any issues related to overheating or other temperature-related issues.

9. Compliance with Manufacturer's Instructions: Ensure that the testing and inspection procedures align with the manufacturer's instructions for the specific emergency light model. AS 2293.1:2018 emphasizes the importance of following manufacturer guidelines to maintain the reliability and compliance of the emergency lighting system.

10. Logbook Documentation: Keep a detailed logbook documenting the results of all tests, inspections, and maintenance activities related to the emergency light. AS 2293.1:2018 recommends maintaining comprehensive records to track the performance of the emergency lighting system over time and demonstrate compliance with standards.

11. Inspection of Charging Contacts: Inspect the charging contacts on the emergency light and the charging unit to ensure they are clean and free from corrosion. Dirty or corroded contacts can impede the charging process and affect the overall performance of the emergency light. AS 2293.1:2018 highlights the importance of keeping charging contacts in good condition.

12. Consideration of Environmental Factors: Take into account environmental factors that may affect the charging process, such as temperature, humidity, and dust. AS 2293.1:2018 recommends considering these factors during the installation and maintenance of emergency lighting systems to ensure optimal performance.

13. Verification of Charger Output: Verify that the charger output meets the specifications provided by the manufacturer. AS 2293.1:2018 stresses the need to ensure that the charging unit delivers the correct output to facilitate the proper charging of the emergency light's battery.

14. Charger Isolation Test: Perform periodic isolation tests on the charger to confirm that it isolates from the mains power supply during normal operation. AS 2293.1:2018 recommends these tests to ensure the safety of maintenance personnel and prevent electrical hazards during servicing.

15. Accessibility of Charging Components: Ensure that charging components, such as the charger unit and connections, are easily accessible for maintenance purposes. AS 2293.1:2018 underscores the importance of designing emergency lighting systems to facilitate efficient maintenance without compromising safety.

16. Charger Voltage Stability: Monitor the voltage stability of the charging system during operation. Voltage fluctuations can impact the charging process and, consequently, the performance of the emergency light. Regular checks, in accordance with AS 2293.1:2018, help identify and address voltage stability issues.

17. Connection Integrity Check: Regularly check the integrity of connections between the emergency light and the charging unit. Loose or damaged connections can lead to charging failures and compromise the operational readiness of the emergency light. AS 2293.1:2018 emphasizes the importance of maintaining secure and intact connections.

18. Charging Current Measurement: Measure the charging current to ensure that it falls within the manufacturer's specified range. AS 2293.1:2018 recommends routine measurements to confirm that the charging current is sufficient for maintaining the battery's optimal condition and sustaining illumination during emergencies.

19. Battery Age Consideration: Take into account the age of the emergency light's battery. AS 2293.1:2018 acknowledges that the battery's performance may degrade over time, and considerations for battery age should be factored into the testing and inspection regime to maintain reliability.

20. Periodic Charger Calibration: If applicable, perform periodic calibration of the charger unit to ensure accurate charging. AS 2293.1:2018 recommends calibration checks in accordance with the manufacturer's guidelines. Calibration helps maintain the charger's precision, ensuring optimal charging performance and prolonging the life of the emergency light's battery.


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