What is emergency lighting used for?
Emergency lighting illuminates areas that lead occupants to the nearest fire exit. In an outage, the lights should remain on for between one and three hours.
This is to ensure that all occupants of the building can safely make their way to the exit and attending emergency services can access the building safely if necessary.
Then, once power is restored to the building, the lights should recharge.
Why is emergency lighting important?
Emergency lighting is vital for fire safety reasons. When the lights in a building go out, it can lead to panic which, in turn, leads to worse outcomes for the occupants of a building.
People need clear paths to exits and plenty of light to help them avoid obstacles in an emergency.
Where do you need to place emergency lighting?
Where you place your emergency lighting matters; incorrect siting can lead to significant risks.
You should place lighting and signs in such a way that clearly illuminates escape routes and exits from your premises.
Regulations state that you should use an illuminated sign instead of an emergency lighting luminaire when the final exit is not readily identifiable by occupants.
Businesses also need to ensure that they correctly illuminate problem areas. These could include:
- Places where the floor level changes
- Toilet areas (greater than 8m2)
- Intersections in corridors
- Changes in the direction of the escape route
You don’t have to provide lights for every item in this list, but you should ensure that all areas receive sufficient lighting for people to navigate their way out of the building.