Emergency lights are an essential part of any buildings health and safety requirements and they also need to take into consideration emergency lighting regulations. Lighting can make a huge difference if there is a flood or fire and they need to work even when the main lighting system is down.
Because of this, you need to regularly test your lighting, know the different types of emergency lighting that is present in buildings and be aware of the regulations that apply to you.
What Is Emergency Lighting?
Emergency lighting is automatic lighting that will still work, even in the case of an emergency. They are present in all sorts of buildings, from blocks flare to warehouses and retail stores. Their main purpose is to make an emergency situation safer, by providing much-needed illumination, so people can safely evacuate in case of a fire, for example.
Because emergency lighting will need to function even if there is a power cut or flooding, it is essential that it works independently of your lighting system and does so even when your usual lighting system isn’t working. To do this, regular testing is needed, so you can ensure that it reliably works, when it is most needed.
Different Types of Emergency Lighting For Businesses
By UK and EU standards, emergency lighting falls into two categories:
Emergency Escape Lighting
When your building’s normal lighting isn’t working and there is an emergency, emergency escape lighting is needed, so everyone can evacuate safely. This lighting has to be up-to-scratch and work despite a power failure, in many different situations.
This type of lighting is also part of a building’s emergency lighting system, although not necessarily used for evacuation purposes. In the case of a power cut, this lighting needs to provide enough illumination so that normal activities can still continue, such as moving goods in a warehouse, for example.
The Three Types of Commercial Emergency Escape Lighting
Escape Route Lighting
This lighting will aid people in an evacuation, making corridors and stairways easy to navigate, while making all fire safety equipment visible, so it can be used.
This lighting is needed specifically for high-risk areas, perhaps working with complex heavy machinery or chemicals. This kind of lighting is needed to make high-risk situations safer and is only needed for certain settings.
Large public space needs to be well lit in case of an emergency, as the people will be unfamiliar with the layout and exits. This also stops crowds from panicking, so they can evacuate safely.
Emergency Lighting Regulations For Your Office Building
Having this kind of lighting working well is essential to health and safety and because of its importance, there are emergency lighting regulations in the UK that you have to adhere to. In particular, it is mentioned in the Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order of 2005.
Here, Article 14 says that: “emergency routes and exits requiring illumination must be provided with emergency lighting of adequate intensity in the case of failure of their normal lighting.” Because of this, regular testing is essential to ensure it works in a variety of situations and that the lights are also bright enough, too.
Commercial Premise Monthly Light Testing
To ensure emergency lighting is working correctly, it needs to be tested monthly which is stated in the BS 5266–1:2016 regulation. This short test makes sure that the lights can work for a certain period of time, keeping usage to a minimum.
Annual Light Testing For Your Business
Your yearly test needs to be more in-depth and should be a fully-rated duration test, carried out by a competent person, to ensure everything is up to scratch. During these annual lighting tests, the lighting will be tested to see if it remains on for 3 hours, which is enough time to ensure the evacuation process.
This process is usually carried out by CPD certified electricians, who will be able to detect and fix any faults that might be found with your lighting system. At the end of your emergency lighting test, you will receive a full report, detailing issues, malfunctions and if you need to take any actions.
Emergency Light Testing With UKSM
We have a highly qualified team of electricians, that have plenty of experience in emergency light testing in a variety of settings and buildings. Our electricians can ensure your lighting is up-to-scratch and adheres to health and safety regulations, so you can guarantee your building has safe lighting that works well.
If you want to find out more about how emergency lighting regulations affect your business, then contact our team today. To read about other safety-related issues in the workplace, you can find out more on the UKSM blog.