Emergency Lighting Equipment is different from other types of backup power equipment. It is designed and tested for use in Life Safety Emergency situations. Its performance is critical to the safe evacuation and movement of people in case of a power outage and is therefore held to and tested to a higher standard than other backup power systems.
Emergency Lighting Equipment used in this country is required to be tested by an independent Underwriter's Laboratories (UL). This means that the product has been submitted for evaluation and testing in accordance with the Life Safety Emergency Lighting Standard # UL924. All aspects of the product construction, material and performance are documented in a Report, which is kept on file at UL.
Any unauthorized changes to the product whether at the factory or in the field voids the UL listing. This UL listing mark is important because the local inspection authorities rely on this to determine that an Emergency Lighting product is acceptable for installations which require this type of equipment.
The type of installation is determined by the National Electrical Code (NEC), Article 700 and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Life Safety Code #101. These two codes dictate the installation and maintenance requirements for this equipment. If this equipment is not installed, maintained, and serviced in accordance with these code requirements, the building owner can be cited and the building shut down until corrections are made.
Finally, if repairs are required, (including battery replacement) they should be made using the proper material as noted in the original UL listing report and they must be accomplished in a timely manner. If this is not done, the UL listing no longer applies. Failure to do so can result in the following consequences: The system may not properly fulfill its function during an emergency, thus causing injury or fatality. Additional damage to the system may result. The inspection authority may cite or fine the owner, or actually shut down the building. If an injury occurs, an Insurance company may deny claim for damages since this could be seen as negligence. The person who made the decision regarding the repair or non-repair of the Life Safety equipment could be held liable.
We hope that this information helps you to make a proper and informed decision regarding the repair and maintenance of your Emergency Lighting System.