One of the most intrinsic but often overlooked components to ensuring building safety is emergency lighting. The importance of emergency lighting is often underestimated, but cannot be more critical in ensuring the safety of employees and clients.
Emergency lighting is completely different from regular lighting, in that its primary function isn’t to illuminate areas. In cases of emergencies, these lights may be the occupants’ only guide to safety. Therefore there are serious legal and potentially life-threatening consequences from not installing or maintaining emergency lighting systems correctly. It is also crucial to have them installed by a professional fire safety company, and use these facts as your emergency lighting guide:
1 Emergency lighting for business use is not meant to illuminate just any space. Its prime purpose is to illuminate key areas such as hallways, stairways and exit points. Changes in direction towards exits should also be properly illuminated, as well as any trip hazards, storage areas of firefighting equipment, call points and final exits.
2 There are 3 main types of emergency lighting:
- Escape route lighting – used to illuminate escape or exit routes.
- High risk task area lighting – used to illuminate areas where dangerous materials or processes are contained and need to be closely monitored.
- Open area or ‘anti-panic’ lighting – used to illuminate large open spaces, providing enough light to make people feel safe enough to evacuate.
By selecting the correct type of lighting for each space you can ensure the safety of all exit points of your premises.
3 Emergency lighting should not be used as standby lighting should the mains power fail. Once they light up, that signals an emergency and people must evacuate immediately.
4 It is important to have your emergency lighting installed and maintained by a suitably qualified fire safety company. This will ensure that all fire safety legislation is adhered to and all areas are correctly illuminated should there be an emergency situation. It is also essential that as part of your fire safety procedures, emergency lighting systems are maintained regularly to ensure they’re fully functional, batteries are fully charged and bulbs remain operational.
6 Always ensure your fire safety log book is completed every time your emergency lighting is tested. Apart from helping you avoid legal issues, this officially ensures that your emergency lights are fully operational and meet fire safety requirements.
7 Finally, emergency lighting systems are part of your building’s safety system; they’re designed to prevent injury and even save lives. Ensuring your emergency lighting is installed and maintained by a professional fire safety company, and to the relevant British Standards, is the best way of ensuring you have put the lives of your employees and clients first.
There should be no compromises when it comes to the safety of your building. Keep in mind the points in this emergency lighting guide and contact us today for a free site survey to install a new system or a cost to properly maintain your existing emergency lighting systems.