Emergency lighting is required in an adverse situation, where the main power supply is interrupted and normal illumination fails. This may lead to sudden darkness and a possible danger to the occupants, either through physical danger or panic.
This kind of lighting is required to operate fully automatically and contribute illumination of a sufficiently high level, enabling occupants to evacuate the premises safely. Most new buildings will have emergency lighting installed during construction, in accordance with current Building Regulations and any local authority requirements and the design and type of equipment, will be specified by the architect.
The British Standard provides the emergency lighting designer with clear guidelines to work to. BS 5266-1: 2011 embraces residential hotels, clubs, hospitals, nursing homes, schools and colleges, licensed premises, offices, museums, shops, multi-storey dwellings, etc. Although this standard recommends the types and durations of emergency lighting systems relating to each category of premises, it should be remembered that the standards are the minimum safe standards for these types of structures and that a higher standard may be required for a particular installation.
Emergency Escape Lighting
Emergency escape lighting is provided to enable safe exit in the event of mains power supply failure. It forms part of a building’s fire protection system.
Standby lighting enables normal activities to continue in the event of mains power supply failure. It does not provide fire protection unless it meets the same equipment, design and installation requirements as emergency escape lighting systems
Escape Route Lighting
Escape route lighting enables safe exit for a building’s occupants by providing appropriate visual conditions and direction finding on escape routes and in special areas/locations such as corridors and stairs. It also ensures that fire fighting and safety equipment can be readily located and used.
Open Area (or Anti Panic) Lighting
Open area or panic lighting reduces the likelihood of panic and enables safe movement of occupants towards escape routes by providing appropriate visual conditions and direction finding. It is normally used in large rooms such as school halls.
High Risk Task Area Lighting
High risk task area lighting ensures the safety of people involved in potentially dangerous processes or situations. It also enables proper shutdown procedures to be carried out for the safety of the premises’ other occupants.
Emergency Light Definitions
Maintained Emergency Light: A luminaire containing one or more lamps which all operate from the normal supply or emergency supply at all times.
Non-Maintained Emergency Light: A luminaire containing one or more lamps which operate from the emergency supply in the event of failure of the normal mains supply.