As important as emergency lighting is, once it’s installed, no one gives it a second thought. There is a trust and assumption that emergency lights will come on when necessary. And while they don’t need to be a constant concern, it is important that they are properly serviced and maintained. The best way to maintain the lights to local building and OSHA codes is to have a local and certified electrician involved from the installation point forward. Licensed electricians are more than qualified to help maintain a safe and up-to-code working environment.
Some emergency lights are wired into the building's main circuits, and then others are set up on automatic batteries that will turn on when the power is out in the building.
A licensed electrician can set up the system in accordance with requirements of OSHA regulations, the local building requirements, and fulfill the insurer's requirements, as well. This is important not only from a liability standpoint but from a safety standpoint.
OSHA is very severe about substandard emergency lighting systems. Having inadequate light systems on an inspection comes with a $7,000 fee for the first offense, and has fines upwards of $70,000 for every consecutive inspection failure. That’s partly why it’s important to have the lights tested and inspected outside of OSHA regulations regularly. Have a licensed electrician come in periodically and test the battery, bulbs, and general functionality and save the headaches with OSHA.
Make sure each of these inspections and tests is documented, as well as the results. This will help reduce the risk of liability in the event OSHA finds a failure, or an emergency happens and something doesn’t go quite right. It doesn’t take them long to identify potential problems and either resolve them or leave careful instructions on how.
Servicing and Repair
Sometimes lights need fixing, bulbs burn out, alarms and inverters or generators fail to perform. Finding and righting malfunctions is one of an electrician's most important responsibilities.
If mice or other pests damage the wires, the emergency lighting can become a hazard. This is another reason to have them inspected and serviced regularly. Certified electricians know the fastest way to fix the problem and get the system back up to OSHA regulations.