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How Do I Know if My Exit Sign Battery Is Bad?

Jun. 01, 2024

Exit signs are a critical component of building safety, providing clear directions to exits during emergencies. Ensuring that these signs are always operational is paramount, particularly during power outages when they rely on emergency lghting battery power. But how can you tell if the battery in your exit sign is failing? In this article, we will guide you through the signs and steps necessary to determine if your exit sign battery needs replacing.


Signs of a Failing Exit Sign Battery


1. Dimming or Flickering Lights


One of the most obvious signs of a bad exit sign battery is dimming or flickering lights. Exit signs are designed to provide constant illumination, and any deviation from this, such as reduced brightness or intermittent flickering, can indicate that the battery is not providing adequate power.


2. Failure to Light During a Power Outage


Exit signs are equipped with batteries to ensure they remain lit during power outages. If the sign fails to illuminate when the power goes out, this is a clear indication that the battery is not holding a charge and needs to be replaced.


3. Warning Indicators


Many modern exit signs come with built-in warning indicators. These indicators are typically small LED lights that change color or blink to signal a problem. If you notice any changes in these indicators, it's essential to check the battery.


4. Age of the Battery


The average lifespan of an exit sign battery ranges from 3 to 5 years. If your exit sign battery is older than this, it's likely time to replace it. Regular checks on the installation date and scheduling replacements accordingly can prevent unexpected failures.


5. Regular Testing


Conducting regular tests is crucial in identifying a failing battery. Exit signs should be tested monthly to ensure they switch to battery power properly. If the sign fails to light up during these tests, the battery is likely bad.

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Steps to Test Your Exit Sign Battery


1. Visual Inspection


Start with a visual inspection of the exit sign. Look for any visible signs of damage or wear on the battery compartment. Check for any corrosion or leakage around the battery terminals, as these can be signs of a failing battery.


2. Manual Test Button


Most exit signs have a manual test button. Pressing this button simulates a power outage and switches the sign to battery power. If the sign does not light up or shows signs of dimming, it's time to replace the battery.


3. Multimeter Test


For a more accurate assessment, use a multimeter to test the battery's voltage. A fully charged emergency battery should read within the manufacturer's specified voltage range. If the reading is significantly lower, the battery is failing.


4. Full Discharge Test


Perform a full discharge test by turning off the main power supply to the sign and allowing it to run on battery power until it fully discharges. This test helps determine how long the battery can sustain the sign's illumination. If the battery does not last as long as the manufacturer's specifications, it needs replacing.


How Do I Test Them?


Most emergency lights or exit signs have a small "push to test" button somewhere on the casing. You can push and hold this button for thirty seconds to test the bulbs and battery. This works ok if you have a small number of devices that can be easily reached. The lights should come on and remain at the same brightness level for the full thirty seconds. If the lights dim right away, or some of the bulbs don't work, then you should contact us to replace the bulbs and/or batteries in the fixture.


Maintaining Your Exit Sign Battery


1. Regular Testing and Maintenance


Schedule regular tests and maintenance for your exit signs. Monthly tests ensure that the batteries are in good condition and can provide illumination during power outages. Replace batteries every 3 to 5 years or as recommended by the manufacturer.


2. Keeping Records


Maintain detailed records of all maintenance activities. Record the dates of tests, inspections, and battery replacements. This documentation can help track the performance of your exit signs and identify when it's time for a new battery.


3. Professional Inspection


Consider scheduling professional inspections to ensure that all safety equipment, including exit signs, is functioning correctly. Professionals can provide thorough inspections and identify potential issues that might be missed during routine checks.




Ensuring your exit sign batteries are in good working condition is crucial for building safety. Regular inspections, timely testing, and prompt replacement of failing batteries can prevent critical failures during emergencies. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can maintain the reliability of your exit signs and enhance the safety of your building.


For more information on maintaining your building's safety equipment or to purchase high-quality replacement batteries, feel free to [contact us](). We are a trusted supplier of exit sign batteries and other safety equipment, committed to ensuring your safety and compliance with all regulations.


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