Short Guide to placing emergency lighting

This short guide will give you a quick idea of where you need to install emergency lighting.

Fire safety legislation must be met, to do that you need an emergency lighting system that conforms to the regulations and is acceptable to the building owner. It is vital to ascertain all the applicable legal requirements for the system before beginning the design as different buildings and areas have different requirements. Once the design has been agreed with the customer it is recommended that it be submitted to the fire and building control departments of the local authority for their approval which could save costs on installation.

The main requirements are:

Building Regulations

Required to comply with BS 5266-1

Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

Required to comply with BS 5266-1

Luminaire standard to comply with BS EN 60598-2-22

The Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996

Detailing that signs should be located at all final exits and also at locations where an escaping individual may be uncertain about the route to safety.

Local Authorities and Fire Prevention officers differ in opinion and thus they have their own requirements regarding emergency lighting. You must take these opinions into consideration as it will be these officers who signify their approval or otherwise when the building is completed. Failure to ensure they are satisfied could incur considerable expense.

Location of Luminaires

Identify specific hazards, and the need for safety equipment and signs. Ensure you provide light for a safe escape along the route. You should ideally have a walk about or inspect the plans and ensure you visit every area of the building regardless of whether it is an escape route or an open area, remember people can be in any location when the power fails. When you have done this you can decide if you wish to have a dedicated luminaire or convert a conventional light to provide room lighting and emergency lighting.

Every Change in DirectionEvery Junction of corridorsGenerally 2 lights near stairs so that each step catches direct light
At each fire call point and fire fighting kitAt first aid points and refuge areasAt each exit door
Outside and surrounding each final exitChanges in floor level (ramps, steps etc)
Escalators to enable users to exit them safelyInside Lifts – People may be trapped in them in the event of a power failureMotor generator, control or plant rooms – require battery supplied emergency lighting.
Inside toilets – Especially for disabled and facilities exceeding 8m2 floor area or without borrowed lightHigh physical risk – For the safe shut down of the facility, emergency lighting should provide 10% of normal illuminationOpen areas – Areas larger than 60m2, open areas with an escape route through them

This is for guidance only and whatever your specific situation it is always best to seek advice from a qualified electrical installer and your local fire officer to ensure that you comply with the local and national laws.