Emergency Lighting

As a building owner or manager, it’s your responsibility to ensure the safety of the building’s occupants. That means you must have adequate emergency lighting to help people leave safely in the event of a power cut or fire.

Emergency lighting must come on automatically when the mains power is cut. It must comply with the standards set out in British Standard 5266-1, and with local building regulations.

However, as the standards change from time to time, it can be difficult for building managers and owners to stay abreast of the latest requirements. The best way to do this, is to take advice from a company in North Wales that specialises in electrical safety testing, and which is up to date with the current developments in the law.

Different types of emergency lighting

This lighting is part of the fire safety provision for a building. If your building has the wrong kind of lighting, or it is in the wrong position, isn’t sufficiently bright, or hasn’t been tested and maintained, your building may fail a fire safety risk assessment.

There are several different kinds of lighting to be aware of, including emergency escape lighting, standby, escape route and open area lighting. Another category is high-risk task lighting which enables people to shut down dangerous tasks in a safe way before leaving the building.

The non-specialist can find the different types of luminaire, and the uses they are put to, quite confusing. It is much easier to consult a fire safety testing specialist in North Wales who can simply advise which you need and where they should be placed.

Different types of power supply

Self-contained, single point luminaires are easy and cheap to install. They are also cheap to maintain, as they only need testing and cleaning periodically. However, they have a limited battery life and the batteries can be affected by very high or low temperatures.

A central battery source is more expensive to install but it is less time consuming to maintain. However, each satellite luminaire needs fire-resistant wiring and a localised failure of the mains supply may not trigger the emergency lights in that particular area.

Emergency lighting testin

Note that it’s not just a matter of whether a luminaire is working or not – it has to reach certain illumination standards and these differ according to the function of the particular luminaire. Another test that an electrical fire safety firm will carry out, is to see how long your lighting runs on its batteries. This should be a minimum of three hours for the escape lighting.

Emergency lighting testing must take place regularly. While the single point luminaires are easily tested in situ, a centralised system may need to be tested using a remote panel. It is easier to agree a regular testing regime with a specialised local firm who can then objectively document that the emergency lighting testing has been professionally carried out.