Emergency Lighting Testing: What is it, and how often should it be done?

Emergency lighting is a standard part of an evacuation strategy for most business premises. They ensure the quick and safe evacuation of individuals from a building in an emergency situation as well as providing lighting during a power failure/fire event. They are a requirement for commercial/industrial premises, (as well as multi-residential properties (e.g. strata title buildings), and residential properties used for business purposes), under the Building Code of Australia, which also dictates emergency lighting testing requirements. Due to the critical nature of emergency and evacuation lighting, testing needs to be detailed and thorough, so if you’re looking for emergency lighting testing in Brisbane, ensure you hire only trained professionals. In this article, we shed more light on emergency lighting testing, including how often it should be done.

What is emergency lighting testing?
Emergency lighting testing is conducted to test and ensure the proper functioning and maintenance of emergency and evacuation lighting systems, including exit lights, installed in a building. It includes testing both maintained and non-maintained emergency lighting systems.

It is a detailed procedure that is carried out by trained technicians, which includes testing lights, making necessary repairs and recording/logging the results of the testing as evidence of compliance.

The test is designed to check the condition and capability of the emergency lighting system, and includes:

Checking all components of the lights, and replacing any defective parts e.g. lamp replacements
A 90-minute discharge test to ensure all the lights will work in the event of a power outage; For this the technician simulates a power outage
Replacing any lighting/devices that fail to work

How often should Emergency Lighting Testing be conducted?
Due to the critical nature of emergency and exit lighting, they require regular inspection, testing and maintenance. According to Australian Standards AS2293.2, emergency lighting testing must be conducted every 6 months. The emergency lighting testing should be carried out by a trained and qualified technician/electrician.

In addition to this, emergency and evacuation lighting are also required to undergo an annual test. The annual test includes the 6 monthly test checks as well as additional inspection/cleaning of fittings and reflective surfaces on all lighting systems.

Why is Emergency Lighting Testing important?
Emergency lights are an essential safety feature of a building as they help guide the occupants of the premises safely and quickly towards the emergency exits in the event of an emergency and/or power failure.

In addition to their practical function i.e. providing illuminated evacuation paths and lighting, which help prevent accidents and injuries during an evacuation process, they also help to keep people calm in situations that can often cause panic e.g. fires.

However, in order to ensure emergency lights function properly any and every time they are needed, maintenance and testing are essential. Non-functioning emergency lights can only aggravate an emergency situation as occupants would naturally expect some form of lighting guidance that can help them safely navigate out of a building. If your emergency lighting fails to kick into gear when most needed, it can cause panic and heighten the risk of accidents and injuries. They can also act as guiding agent for first responders such as firefighters and other disaster management groups by providing them with better visibility.

Lastly, but quite importantly, Brisbane emergency lighting testing is mandated by Building and Fire Safety Codes and non-compliance can result in heavy penalties.

Book emergency lighting testing in Brisbane
Emergency lighting testing is critical and is mandated by law. To ensure the safety of all occupants in a building, it’s important to book in regular emergency lighting testing as required by Australian Standards, to ensure all lighting systems are in good working condition and are able to function properly at all times.

Remember, it’s important to always hire qualified technicians to conduct emergency lighting testing, as they have the required expertise, tools and knowledge of all compliance requirements.

If you need emergency lighting testing in Brisbane, contact the professionals at Azz Industries so you can rest assured your emergency lights are not just functional, but also meet all required Australian Standards.

Azz Electrical are specialists in the electrical industry, including large scale electrical work such as retail premises, commercial offices, shopping centres and strata title buildings. They are known for their seamless, no-fuss services and providing highest quality electrical work in Brisbane, at affordable prices. Contact Azz Industries today for your emergency lighting testing and repairs in Brisbane.

Time to Test Your Safety Switch

One of the essential parts of modern life is electricity, but people tend to disregard how high-risk it can also be. With this, it is a must to protect your business from electrical hazards such as electrical fires, shocks, and arc flashes. An excellent way to prevent these serious incidents is to check the condition of your safety switch, also known as RCD, (residual current device). While you can perform the testing easily, registered professional electrical services can provide you with extensive work and a detailed report.

What Is the Difference Between Safety Switch and Circuit Breaker?

Both safety switches and circuit breakers are integral components that help your place free of electrical hazards. A safety switch protects people from hazards by shutting the electricity off if it detects a problem, while a circuit breaker cuts power to protect appliances and wiring in case of a system overload or fault. They are also similar in appearance, but a safety switch comes with a test button, which is absent in a circuit breaker. A safety switch typically monitors the electricity flow through a circuit.

When there is a power point overload, the circuit breaker creates a short circuit override, and protects your computer, toaster, coffee maker, and other appliances from electrical surges, helping to prevent damage or fire. However, it cannot keep an electric shock from happening to you. This is because a safety switch is the only one that can turn the power off as soon as an electrical issue occurs, in approximately 0.03millisecond.

For example, if you touch a live conductor of an oven, electricity will run through your body as a conduit to the ground, causing your heart to stop. A well-functioning safety switch can provide you with life-saving protection by stopping the electricity in 300 milliseconds.

Where Can You Find the Safety Switch?

In general, safety switches are inside fuse boxes or switchboards, in the same location where meter readings often are. Not all safety switches look the same, depending on the manufacturer. For maximum safety and protection, install a safety switch on each circuit breaker in the property. In other words, you need a safety switch for the air conditioning, lighting, power points, pool, hot water, etc. They will be your additional line of defence against electrical failures.

Ways to Test a Safety Switch

The safety switches in your circuit boards need regular inspections every six months to make sure they function properly. It is best to call an Electrician for a comprehensive report and efficient testing.

The first thing that the electrical expert does is to locate the switchboard on your property. They will check its door hinge and clean the general area of the locking mechanism and exterior of the switchboard. Next, they will test the safety switch usually using these two processes:

  • RCD testing. This method refers to the checking of the RCD safe tripping to determine if it can quickly do its job of avoiding hazards. The RCD should be able to trip in about 30 milliseconds. This quick tripping produces only a small shock, so it is a safe process.
  • Push-button test. During ground leakage, the specialists at the electrical services will test the RCD trips to ascertain their operational status. The testing will determine if the safety switch can protect people from electric shock or electrocution, and if it can break the circuit. When the expert presses the button, the residual current device should disconnect or power off if it detects an imbalance. If your electricity takes longer to trip off than a millisecond or stays on, then you have a faulty safety switch.

Comprehensive Report

Your electricians should record all the results of their testing and recommend a proper course of action to ensure safety in your property. The report also includes information regarding the location of your safety switch and if it has failed or passed the test. You can take the best approach to keep everyone safe within your premises, based on the information you get from the test results.

The risks of electricity-related injuries and accidents are real. Installing safety switches is a must on all circuits, whether you rent or own the place. If you want to be sure that your commercial property is safe, call an electrical contracting company immediately because it is best to leave this kind of job to the experts.

The Most Common Dangerous Electrical Hazards

The truth is life without electricity today is impossible. We all need electricity to use our gadgets, to see at night, to cook our food and use our appliances. Hence, you’d better seek professional electrical services from AZZ Industries – the leading electrical contractor for commercial and industrial electrical services throughout Brisbane.

Being aware of potential electrical faults and taking the steps necessary to avoid electrical hazards is crucial to keep your loved ones safe. But, in order to eliminate those hazards, you have to know what some of the common most dangerous electrical hazards are.

For that reason, the experienced team at AZZ Industries have come up with the following list of the most common electrical issues that you may come across in your home. Whether you have faulty appliances or unsteady lights, make sure you check if the problem has anything to do with any of the following:

1. Faulty or Poor Wiring

First and foremost, in order to keep electrical safety standards high, high-quality wiring is essential. Otherwise, if you try to save some money and have poor wiring in your home, the risk of power surges, fireside, arc faults, and other electrical issues, immediately increases.

So, make sure to hire electrical contractors to get the job done instead of checking your skills with DIY projects. Here’s a brief list of the most common wiring issues:

  • Hot wires or cords
  • Worn extension cords
  • Pinched wire insulation
  • Cracked wire insulation
  • Improper connections
  • Broken electrical appliances
  • Damaged electrical wire

2. Electrical Circuit Overload

Second on the list of the most common electrical hazards you should be aware of is electrical circuit overloads. But, what is this exactly? Namely, all circuits are designed to handle a certain amount of electricity. Hence, if you draw more than it can handle, the electrical circuit overloads, the circuit breaker trips, and the power to the entire circuit shuts off.

Luckily, you can prevent circuit overloads by knowing the layout of your electrical system. Again, the best solution is to call electrical contractors to explain everything you need to know about the load ratings of your home electricity system. Here are the common signs to help you recognize an electrical circuit overload:

  • Breaker tripping
  • Power shuts off
  • Buzzing outlets or switches
  • Dimming lights
  • Scorched plugs or outlets
  • Appliances lack power
  • Burning smell from outlets or switches

The bottom line is, whether you’ve already experienced some of the electrical issues mentioned above or you simply want to take preventative measures to ensure safety, the best thing you can do is call AZZ Industries. We always get things done right the first time, communication is open and honest and we are overall committed to providing the highest quality electrical work in Brisbane.

What is Thermal Imaging and Why is it Important for your Business?

Thermal imaging is actually a diagnostic technique which allows us to quantify and visualize different changes in electrical equipment’s surface temperature. Over time, your electrical systems will age and experience wear and tear. The Thermal Imaging infrared camera converts heat (infrared radiation) which is emitted from an electrical equipment surface into electrical impulses that are mapped as colours and represent different temperatures.

So, let’s take a look at reasons why is it so important for your business:

Thermal image scans are important as they can easily identify various equipment flaws as well as pinpoint any hot spots which are usually invisible to the naked eye. These scans will help you reduce the chance of electrical fires, especially within switchboards, as well as discover any loose connections from overheating.

If you want to avoid any fires and discover issues before they become a severe hazard, you should definitely get a professional thermal image scan to avoid any future problems. Luckily, the professionals at Azz Industries are always here to help. They are the leading contractors for industrial and commercial electrical services based in Brisbane.

What are the main benefits of thermal image scans?

Using thermal image scans will facilitate early equipment failure detection, as well as:

  • Cost savings – Thermal imaging will definitely help you protect your business and cut costs, as no other preventive method is as efficient and cost effective as thermal image scanning
  • Minimise hazards at your workplace and reduce the possibility of fires
  • Early detection of a variety of different potential faults
  • Non-destructive scans – With thermal image scanning we can easily detect any heat related external anomalies without having to disconnect or destroy any of your equipment, as well as identify any internal equipment failure.

How often does electrical equipment need to be scanned?

As the only way to find out that there is a problem with your electrical system is failure, the answer to this question is as frequently as you can.

All electrical components heat up before they burn out, so early detection with thermal image scanning can save your business from serious problems, before they cause total system failures or even worse, fires.

The bottom line is, thermal imaging can easily detect various problems and allow you to fix them before a much bigger issue arises, which will be far more difficult for you to handle. Many insurance companies actually recommend performing regular thermal image scans, as it is recognized as one of the most efficient methods of fire prevention.

If you want to ensure a higher level of safety at your workplace and reduce the possibility of any unwanted fires, contact Azz Industries today, and make sure you get the best services in South East Queensland.

Mitigating Potential Electrical Hazards

Having a safe site is one of the critical requirements for ensuring a non-hostile environment.  When considering safety, you should make sure that the place or unit for inspection is clean, dry, and free of any electrical hazards.

How do you do this? The key is to anticipate the potential hazards or risks that can happen in your place and then plan a course of action to prevent such incidence from happening. If ever the risk is unavoidable, then having another contingency plan to mitigate the severity of accident is a necessity.

Dealing with Electrical Hazards and Accidents

1. Hazard detection 

Conducting ocular inspection to look out for potential causes of electrical hazards is always the first step to ensure safety. During this phase, your contractor should be able to pinpoint all sources of potential hazards like infrastructures made from combustible materials, weak ceilings, or sources of water leaks.

In some instances, installation of emergency warning system could also help premature detection of hazards. Some examples of these are gas or carbon detectors that automatically send off visual or audible sound signals once they detect dangerous levels of poisonous gases in the air.

2. Hazard removal 

Once the sources of possible hazards are detected, the next step is to craft a detailed plan to address or remove those potential sources of risks. For offices and other commercial units, it is highly advisable to have the plan created or checked by licensed commercial electrical contractors in Brisbane to make sure that it adheres to relevant building codes and requirements. The plan will then be submitted to Australian authorities like Queensland Fire and Rescue Service (QFRS) for review and approval.

3. Damage limitation 

Despite removing or terminating all possible sources of risk, electrical accidents can still happen because of completely unperceivable factors. For instance, an employee may accidentally forget to unplug the microwave after heating his or her meal or a combustible chemical can accidentally spill on electrical wirings. Both situations are unforeseeable sources of electrical hazards that can invariably lead to fire break-out.

That is why aside from hazard removal, commercial buildings and establishments are also required to have a damage mitigation plan in ready. Installation of automatic fire extinguishers and sprinklers are essential part of damage mitigation systems. Likewise, putting medical kits on accessible areas of the building is also one way to limit casualties caused by electrical accidents.

Having a ready-made action plan can save lives and make a huge difference. Though it is better to prevent all sorts of accident from taking place, we cannot discount the fact that there are still indispensable sources of hazards present in all places.

If you need help in securing your properties from electrical hazards, then contacting licensed industrial electricians from Azz Industries will be your best choice. They have extensive knowledge and experience on working out electrical problems for their clients across South East Queensland. Just dial 1300 AZZ IND (1300 299 463) to get in touch with their reliable and trustworthy electricians today!