If you live in an occupancy building, have a busy office or you are a site manager, then youwould have probably at some point thought about or come across emergency lighting.
Emergency lighting provides back up lighting, which comes into effect when a building losespower and experiences a power outage. Emergency lights need to give sufficient levels oflight and illumination to enable all occupants and residents to safely evacuate the premise.
Common amongst many residential buildings including flats and apartments, many newbuilds now install emergency lighting as standard during construction.
UK Building Regulations and the British Standard specifies the design, installation andtype of equipment needed for clubs, hospitals, hotels, schools and shopping centres etcincluding the minimum safe standards that must be met. Although standby lighting has beenincreasingly introduced to new buildings the Building Regulations and British Standardscover the use and need for emergency escape lighting.
The loss of mains power electricity may cause sudden darkness and a blackout within abuilding and potentially cause danger to occupants and those residing in a communal orcommercial building.
Emergency lighting therefore is usually battery operated and self-contained locally. Self-contained emergency lights are cost-effective and can be installed quickly and easily, whilstincreasing the integrity of the emergency lighting system as each installation is independentof another.
More commercial buildings and sites that house vital services such as hospitals will havetheir emergency lights as well as other critical services backed-up by a generator.
Emergency lighting needs to be sustained for a duration of at least three hours, although if thepremises will be evacuated immediately on power failure and then not reoccupied a minimumduration of one hour may be acceptable.
The legends, lights and signs should then be placed and sited in clearly visible locationsleading to the exit points of the building, whilst access to call points, fire alarms and firefighting equipment such as fire extinguishers should be illuminated as well as being readily accessible.
Whatever the type, source and location of emergency lighting, be sure that your back-uplighting systems is routinely checked and maintained all year round.
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