There have been recent revisions to the emergency lighting requirements in the UK British standards BS5266. The new regulations are to bring it in line with the European emergency lighting luminous requirement specification standard BS EN 1838:2013. Facilities managers must review their current installations. Commercial buildings such as hotels are required to undertake regular reviews of their emergency lighting to ensure the safety of employees and visitors. Mishaps and minor compliance failures can result in substantial penalties and even prison time.
The additions to the standard, includes an extension to cover high-risk task lighting, which provides illumination for the safety of people involved in potentially dangerous processes or situations and to provide proper shut down procedures for the operator’s safety as well as the other building occupants.
There is also new guidance that is relevant to hotels: swimming pools and ‘open balcony’ entrance areas. There is emphasis on making sure that emergency lighting is used correctly and that it takes into account the needs for people with disabilities and visual impairments.
Last month in a landmark case, a former hotelier has been jailed after admitting that his establishment lacked adequate emergency lighting as well as other fire safety equipment. The former hotelier had been out the of game for a while and had even sold his city centre hotel business. Despite the hotel being bought by a large hotel chain, who had since completely refurbished the building and installed all the necessary emergency lighting and fire safety equipment. The former hotel owner was still held responsible for failing to comply to safety regulation laws during the time he had owned the business.
Steve Helps of the South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue spoke to the media following the ruling:
“We always try to work positively with businesses to comply with fire safety regulation, but this case is a stark reminder of the consequences of failing to comply with those laws. Had a fire broken out in these premises then there can be little doubt that lives would have been lost. The sentence handed down by the judge should serve as a warning to any business of how seriously breaches of fire safety law are taken”
But it is not necessarily just the hotel owner that can be held responsible for inadequate safety precautions, facility managers or a ‘responsible person’ that the owner has delegated the responsibility to can be held liable.
Getting caught for inadequate safety standards means the authorities can conclude that the premises is not suitable for sleeping, clearly having devastating effects on a hotel business.
What does a responsible person in a hotel do to comply with Safety Standards?
- You must carry out a fire risk assessment.
- You need a fire safety plan to ensure safe evacuation, fire doors and exits, clearly marked escape routes and an emergency lighting system.
- The emergency lighting system must be tested once a year by a certified electrician and once a month in house. All in house testing must be documented.
Ringtail is a leading UK manufacturer, designer and supplier of professional LED emergency and amenity lighting.
There are several types of emergency lighting systems available. Central battery systems, emergency fittings with built in batteries, or standard luminaries with an in-built emergency function. Ringtail advises its clients on suitable emergency lighting solutions in both new buildings and existing buildings. Ringtail is committed to quality and innovation and use cutting edge technology to develop creative emergency lighting solutions, designed to the latest lighting industry standards.
Ringtail has supplied many hotels in the UK and abroad with emergency lighting solutions.
Managing Director at Ringtail, David Pilkington says
“Architects have slowly come to the realisation that emergency lighting is a necessity and now try to build it into the mainstream lighting, meaning the emergency lighting is incorporated into existing fittings. Advancements in emergency lighting technology have made remarkable solutions, including emergency lighting that can test itself automatically and report and record outcomes”
To make sure your hotel is compliant with the current safety standards or for any other lighting question contact Ringtail here.