Lighted exit signs are a crucial part of building safety — in the event of a fire or loss of power, they're instrumental in guiding people to safety. As a result of their importance, lighted exit sign manufacturers design the signs to be relatively low-maintenance. If one breaks, you might be able to repair it yourself.
Place the ladder in such a way that you can safely climb up to reach the exit sign — they are frequently located by stairs, so make sure that the legs of the ladder are fully supported. Climb the ladder and use the screwdriver to remove any screws or clips that are holding the exit sign to the wall.
Disconnect the exit sign from the building's power supply carefully. If there are more connections than just those for the power, label them with the masking tape and permanent marker so you can reconnect them later.
Remove the screws that hold the exit sign together and remove them carefully, setting them aside for later reference. Open the sign to expose the circuit board, internal power supply and lamp or LED.
Turn the voltmeter on and connect the negative probe to the negative terminal of the power supply and the positive probe to the positive terminal. Check the voltage that is recorded against the power supply's design voltage in the exit sign's User's Manual; if it is significantly lower, the battery might need to be replaced.
Unscrew or loosen any retaining clips that are holding the exit sign's lamp in place and carefully remove the lamp. Inspect it for signs of damage, like a burned-out filament or corrosion around the base of the lamp. If anything seems out of the ordinary, replace the lamp and secure it back in the exit sign.
Screw the exit sign back together, and reconnect it to the building's power supply. Check to make sure that it is working properly.
If the exit sign uses LEDs and circuitry, it might not be possible to diagnose the affected part cheaply. Even if a replacement control board is available, it might be more cost-effective to replace the entire lighted exit sign.
If the exit sign continues to function poorly after the bulb and backup power supply are replaced, the problem might be with the building instead — contact your landlord or plant supervisor to have it inspected.
- exit sign image by Angela Oakes from Fotolia.com