Ask the experts: Central Testing Vs. a Standard System

In our line of business testing is important, ensuring your systems are fully functional and safe, and in fact The British Standards state that emergency lighting should be put through a functional test once a month and a full duration test one a year. That's a lot of testing!

What is functional testing?

Functional testing involves simulating a mains failure to ensure that the light source and the battery are both working.

What is duration testing?

This involves simulating a mains failure to ensure that the battery lasts its full rated duration (typically 3hrs in the UK).

Standard emergency lighting system tests are triggered manually via a key switch or similar and fitting needs to be physically viewed at the end of the allotted test duration time to ensure that it is still working. The tests need to be staggered to ensure it is possible to witness the fitting at the end of each test to ensure that it is still working. This standard system testing often needs to be conducted outside of normal working hours to minimise disruption to the buildings inhabitants and to ensure fittings are able to recharge.

When using a central testing system tests are programmed to happen at a time and date to suit the user. The control unit reports details of any fittings which failed the test, and detail the type of fault e.g. battery duration failure, or battery unable to charge, or lamp failure. The control unit stores information relating to each of the fittings including lamp type, battery type and the location details of the fitting. Test results can be viewed on site or remotely and maintenance teams are able to establish the nature of the error and therefore what parts and tools they require, and which areas of the building they require access to prior to going to site.

So, what does this mean?

Having a central testing system makes compliance with British Standards easier, and creates a smooth and efficient way of testing your systems. The savings on testing and reporting start accruing almost immediately, and we estimate the payback period of installing an emergency testing system is somewhere in the region of 2-3 years. At Hostwave we offer a wireless testing system which requires no additional communication cables. This makes installing a central testing system simpler thanever before. Logica FM is ideal for refurbishment projects and new builds of all sizes.

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