Emergency Lighting – Are you Compliant?

Emergency lighting is an important aspect to your businesses fire safety that is often overlooked.


What is Emergency Lighting?
In the event of a fire or a power cut, the normal source of illumination fails and can lead to sudden darkness and cause potential danger to occupants with panic or physical accidents.

Emergency lighting is required to operate automatically and provide enough light to enable all the occupants to leave the premises safely.

Why do I need Emergency Lighting?
It is the responsible person who is in control of the premises emergency lighting, and should ensure they are aware of The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

They have a duty of care to the members of staff and public who will be using the building.

As the responsible person of your business premises, you have the responsibility of the safety of the people in your building. If a power outage was to occur it is important to illuminate the escape routes, such as corridors and stairways, for an quick and efficient evacuation of the. Emergency lighting is also used to show where fire fighting and fire protection can be found.

Current Legislation – British Standard BS 5266 updated
BS 5266 provides clear guidelines about the design and installation of emergency lighting.

In 2016 BS 5266 changed. It is now more in line with the European standard, EN1838 however, the British version has been adapted to be more ‘local’.

Although standards may not be law, they are best practice and should be followed in order to be compliant.

Duration of Battery Back-up
This is dependent on the use of the building but 3 hours is the typical duration for a number of types of business. 1 hour duration may be acceptable in some premises if evacuation is immediate and re-occupation is delayed until the system has recharged.

If your premises fall under both 3 hour and 1 hour categories, the 3 hour should be applied throughout.

Emergency Lighting Maintenance
Maintenance is essential on your emergency lighting systems and should be carried out at regular intervals by a professional fire engineer.

It is advised to have a maintenance contract in place with a competent fire company so you can arrange routine inspections and also emergency repairs and alterations.

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