Table of Contents:
- The Importance Of Emergency and Exit Lighting In Fire Safety Systems
- What Is The Purpose Of Emergency Lighting?
- What Are The Legal Requirements For Emergency Lighting?
- What Are The Different Types Of Emergency Lighting?
- What Is The Difference Between Professionally Maintained And Unprofessionally Maintained Emergency Lighting?
- Where Is It Necessary To Have Emergency Exit Lighting?
The Importance Of Emergency And Exit Lighting In Fire Safety Systems
When it comes to security advice, fire safety has to be one of the most critical areas, and this is because the proper guidance and fire security systems can save lives. Our Abbotsford security experts discuss the importance of emergency and exit lighting in fire safety systems, including where they should be installed and the various types of lighting available.
What Is The Purpose Of Emergency Lighting?
Emergency lighting should be incorporated into all fire security systems in London, as it has the potential to save lives literally. It is designed to ensure that illumination is provided promptly, automatically, and for a sufficient time in the event of a power failure. This will ensure that building occupants can safely exit in an emergency, such as a fire.
When a fire alarm sounds unexpectedly, and the fire spreads throughout a building, a sense of panic frequently ensues. When a building is plunged into darkness, as is frequently the case during a fire, disorientation and confusion can set in, increasing the risk of injury and making it even more difficult for occupants to escape.
On the other hand, a marked escape route makes it easier to safely exit the building during a fire.
Emergency escape lighting is intended to illuminate escape routes such as corridors and stairwells and the location of firefighting equipment such as fire extinguishers and security equipment such as key boxes containing emergency keys to exit doors.
What Are The Legal Requirements For Emergency Lighting?
Any emergency lighting system must be well-designed and well-planned to protect lives.
Legally, the light must remain on for an entire hour following the primary power outage. When it comes to sleeping accommodations, such as in an HMO, this increases to three hours.
What Are The Different Types Of Emergency Lighting?
Fire escape and exit lighting come in a variety of styles. The most conventional type consists of internal and external bulkhead emergency fittings connected to the building’s primary electrical wiring. These typically operate for three hours without mains power, such as when cables burn through and then recharge once mains power is restored.
LED emergency lighting is gaining popularity as a result of its energy-saving benefits. In the event of a power outage, battery packs automatically kick in.
Another type of emergency lighting is illuminated fire exit signs, and these illuminate to indicate the location of fire exits.
Additionally, escape routes are marked with photoluminescent marker tape, paint, and floor discs. They are particularly useful in buildings with changes in level, such as stairwells and uneven floors. These markings are especially useful when people must flee through smoke and for those who are partially sighted.
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What Is The Difference Between Professionally Maintained And Unprofessionally Maintained Emergency Lighting?
Emergency light fittings that have been maintained can be operated via a switch. They can be left on indefinitely or configured to activate in the event of a power outage. Maintained lights are typically used in areas where large groups of people congregate, such as a cinema. They are intended to avert total darkness, with the emergency lights functioning even in a power outage.
Unmaintained fixtures will remain dark unless there is a power outage. This type of emergency lighting is often powered by a battery that can be recharged via its power supply.
Any type of emergency lighting must be tested regularly to comply with current, applicable safety requirements.
Where Is It Necessary To Have Emergency Exit Lighting?
Each building will have its own unique requirements for emergency illumination. Even within a building, requirements will vary from section to section. Certain areas, for example, will benefit from natural light, while others will require constant artificial illumination.
Emergency lighting is typically required in all areas of buildings that are occupied at night, including those that receive natural light during the day. Exceptions may apply when ‘borrowed’ light from external street lamps is sufficient, provided the light source is reliable, and the building’s occupants are familiar with its layout.
Typically, emergency exit lighting will be required to illuminate the following:
- Each exit door is unique.
- Routes of escape
- Intersections of corridors
- Outside of each final exit and along secondary escape routes
- Warning signs for emergency exits
- Staircases and areas with varying floor levels
- Rooms without windows and toilet facilities larger than 8m2
- Firefighting apparatus
- Call points for fire alarms
- Equipment that would have to be turned off in the event of an emergency
- Areas in buildings larger than 60m2
While individual lights for each of these items are not required, there must be an adequate level of overall light to make them visible and usable.