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Write and Wrong

Emergency lighting under all applicable code requirements must be tested. Furthermore, these tests must have results committed to writing. In some occasions, however, there has been logistical confusion over when the writing may not be required.

This apparent inconsistency is explained by the instance when self-testing emergency lighting systems are being employed. It is still generally required that a written record (rather than electronic data) be kept.

“Written records of visual inspections and tests shall be kept by the owner for inspection by the authority having jurisdiction.” NFPA’s Life Safety Code, Article 5-9:3, Periodic Testing of Emergency Lighting Equipment.

In many instances, modern emergency lights will be labeled either ‘self-testing’ or ‘self-diagnostic.’ If the equipment is self-diagnosing, then one aspect of record keeping is modified…but not eliminated. The requirement for recording in writing the actual testing of the equipment is waived. This only applies to the monthly recording of the results of the 30 second continuos testing.

But if relying on the self-diagnostic test, then a visual inspection must still be made on the emergency lighting, once every 30 days. And the visual inspection must still be recorded in writing. Having a full annual test (of 90 minute duration) on the equipment is in no way modified by having self-diagnostic emergency lighting.

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Posted in Emergency Lighting