Combatting Emergency Lighting Neglect With Self-Testing Luminaires

LED Emergency LightsDespite recent changes to the legal requirements surrounding emergency lighting and the obvious safety benefits, a recent survey has revealed shocking levels of neglect towards emergency lighting installations. Many factors surrounding the installation and maintenance of emergency lighting were found to be insufficient, despite many being mandatory legal requirements and those offending these laws facing hefty fines. The report aims to change attitudes toward emergency lighting and ensure all installations meet the lawful requirements, ensuring members of the public are safe in emergency situations.

The report noted that 64% of the European contractors surveyed reported that the emergency lighting logbooks used were not kept up to date, which details the testing and maintenance for installations. It was also found that 60% of contractors visited at least one site a month where ‘the responsible person’ overseeing fire safety was unknown. Other worrying issues uncovered by the report included:

  • 44% of sites used emergency lighting with either broken or faulty lights
  • 42% of emergency lighting logbooks had inadequate logbook records
  • 39% lacked the correct emergency lighting signage
  • 35% found that the batteries used in installations had not been charged
  • 25% had inadequate lux levels when compared to lawful levels

Those failing to meet fire safety regulations are being forced to face the legal ramifications, a landlord in Reading has recently been fined £20,000 after Reading Borough Council found their failure to provide tenants with adequate emergency lighting and light supply. The law states that ‘the responsible person’, usually the landlord or facilities manager, must ensure emergency lighting is tested in accordance with the regime laid out in BS EN 50172:2004/BS 5266 which details the minimum provision and testing for emergency lighting in different premises.

Recent tragic events have altered thoughts and conversations surrounding emergency lighting, with many calling for increased enforcement of fire safety laws. Innovations in emergency lighting are helping to combat inadequate inspection regimes through the use of emergency luminaires which incorporate self-testing or automatic monitoring and testing facilities. These self-contained, self-testing luminaires contain integral microprocessors which can control and initiate testing programmes which meet the requirements set out in current regulations. When a  fault is detected, a bi-colour LED status indicator will identify the nature of the fault and the system cannot be reset until the fault has been resolved.

Fully automated monitoring and testing systems are also available and are generally best suited for larger facilities, one such example is DALI. In this system, each luminaire is assigned a unique address, and when connected to a compatible controller, the testing and reporting become fully automated. The system will also test groups of luminaires at once, ensuring that an area is not left without functioning emergency lighting, especially important when batteries are recharging to full capacity. Any faults detected can either be automatically reported locally or an email can be sent to notify ‘the responsible person’. A DALI system also reduces rectification work by identifying the specific location of the failed luminaire along with the nature of the fault, again the alert will not reset until the fault has been adequately resolved. This system will also save test reports electronically, allowing easy access if requested to be seen by authority.

Systems such as DALI, now make it possible for users to manage and control single or multiple installations remotely, with access to each site made over a secure internet portal. The introduction of self-testing our automatic monitoring emergency luminaires should help combat the shocking maintenance of emergency lighting installations. Introduction into modern-day facilities should help improve fire safety regulations and ensure all emergency lighting installations are fit for purpose. Ringtail Lighting is proud to be able to offer emergency luminaries suitable for most applications with self-testing or automatic testing emergency facilities.

Ringtail Lighting is a leading designer, manufacturer and supplier of emergency lighting and fire safety products. Recently celebrating its 20th anniversary, Ringtail Lighting manufactures LED emergency and amenity lighting equipment from its facilities within the UK. Ringtail Lighting has a network of international distributors, supplying its range of emergency lighting products to over 15 countries.

Ringtail Lighting’s range of emergency lighting includes emergency exit signs, LED downlights and emergency light bulkheads, all designed to the latest industry standards. All lighting products are manufactured with innovation in mind, offering customers safe and reliable products that can be depended on in emergency situations. They also offer a bespoke product service, an emergency lighting manufacturer dedicated to fulfilling the requirements of your specific project criteria.

All Ringtail’s lighting is supplied with a 3-year warranty, with many products offering up to 5-years of warranty. Ringtail has become renowned in the emergency lighting market for manufacturing reliable, high-quality and efficient product utilising the latest technologies.

For more information on any of Ringtail Lighting’s product range or to speak to a member of the team, contact us here or call on 01772 336 335.