Safety legislation in the UK states that people in business premises must be able to find their way to a place of total safety by using escape routes that have adequate lighting in the event of an emergency. The comprehensive regulations, standards and guidance about this are designed to make sure that the particular needs of each building are looked at individually and addressed.
Emergency Lighting – Can You See Through the Smoke?
The code of practice for emergency lighting, BS 5266, offers guidance on where emergency lights should be positioned, minimum light levels, and how often routine tests should be performed. It states that areas of more than 60 square metres must have emergency lighting and signs installed.
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order (RRFSO) 2005, which came into force in October 2006, charges the responsible person in control of non-domestic premises with the safety of everyone in the building, whether working, visiting or living there. This duty of care includes the provision of emergency lighting.
“The responsible person, either on their own or with any other responsible person, must as far as is reasonably practical make sure that everyone on the premises, or nearby, can escape safely if there is a fire.”
Emergency lighting is designed to work in the event that normal lighting fails. Not only does this enable people to be able to see their way out of a building, it also means that other safety equipment is visible should it be needed. There are basically two types of emergency lighting, maintained and non-maintained.
Non-maintained emergency lighting is designed to turn on in the event of a power failure. It is wired into the buildings lighting circuitry and kicks in when there is a power failure making sure emergency exits are still lit. This type of emergency lighting usually chosen in offices and factories, where people are usually familiar with the escape routes.
Maintained lighting is designed to provide continuous illumination and will continue to work even if there is a power failure. This type of emergency lighting is most commonly used in public places such as theatres, shopping malls and cinemas.
If you are unsure as to which type of emergency lighting would best suit your needs, give us a call at FTS Safety Solutions, and we will be happy to provide any help and advice that you may need.
Until next time, stay safe.