As a Master Commercial Electrician in Melbourne, Steve Puyol from Hit the Switch has worked on countless Emergency Lighting install and maintenance jobs. He’s your go-to guy when it comes to Emergency Lighting Standards.

In this blog, he’ll give you an overview of what you need to know about emergency lighting and how often the lighting needs to be maintained and audited.


Unless you’re looking out for them, you’d probably be surprised at how many emergency and exit lights there are installed around bars, cafés, restaurants, shops and other commercial premises.

Emergency lights are incredibly important in directing occupants to safety when there is a fire, blackout or other emergency.

There is a minimum standard applicable to all Class 6 buildings over 100m2 constructed after July 1 1994.

Under AS2293.1, emergency lights need to be installed at a wide range of points including exits, hallways, stairwells, car parks and foyers.

The number of lights that are required depends on many factors including the size of the building and the number of exit points.

A trained and experienced electrician will have a thorough understanding of all relevant Emergency Lighting Standards. They will be able to recommend to you how many emergency lights needs to be installed and what type of system will work best.


It’s one thing to install all of the necessary emergency lights in your place of business, but it’s another thing to ensure they are regularly maintained by a qualified electrician.

There are insurance ramifications if you don’t have your audit book kept up to date. Fines apply to businesses who do not have adequate signage or fail to keep their lighting maintained.

Under Australian Emergency Lighting Standards (AS/NZS 2293.2:1995), all emergency lighting needs to undergo 6 and 12 monthly testing to ensure the lighting continues to operate properly, especially in the event of a power failure.

Testing also checks for things like the age of the batteries, if the illumination is bright enough and if any fittings need to be replaced.

Below is a quick overview of what needs to be checked during both 6 and 12 monthly tests.


  • Visual inspection of all lighting and fix any faults if required.
  • Manually test the operation of the emergency lighting. This involves turning the battery charger off to simulate a mains failure and allowing for the lighting to partially discharge. This test needs to run for 90 minutes to ensure the emergency lighting will keep illuminated during a power failure. After 90 minutes has passed, the lighting is restored to normal.
  • Log all maintenance in the audit book and have the book signed off on by an electrician.


  • All work carried out in a usual 6 monthly test.
  • Clean and inspect all fittings and reflective surfaces.
  • Visually inspect emergency lighting systems to ensure they operate in a correct relationship with the normal lighting in the immediate area.
  • Log all maintenance in the audit book and have the book signed off on by a licensed electrician.

Keeping on top of these 6 and 12 month tests is the responsibility of any business owner or facility manager. If your audit book is not up to date, it can result in a fine.


The easiest way for you to be completely sure your business has the correct amount of emergency lighting installed, as well as ensuring the lighting is maintained, is to check with a licenced electrician.

Installing and maintaining emergency and exit lighting is a very routine task for a Commercial Electrician.

A good electrician can also keep a schedule of when you need to arrange for 6 and 12 monthly tests so that you’re not caught out for failing to adhere to standards.


If you need some exit and emergency lighting installed, or if you’re not sure if your lighting is up to Emergency Lighting Standards, Hit the Switch can help.

One of our expert and experienced electricians can come out to inspect your place of business and provide a comprehensive quote. We can also help you arrange regular testings and sign off on your audit book.

For more information and advice about exit and emergency lighting, please feel free to call us on 1300 205 205, or simply click here to contact us.