Emergency Lighting Explained
Emergency Lighting – What is it?
Emergency lighting is an essential element in the contemporary business environment. In the UK, the current law demands that all occupied buildings be fitted with adequate escape lighting to allow safe exit in cases when the mains power break and MCFP are up to date and fully compliant with the legal requirements.
According to the Fire Precautions Regulations 1997 & BS5266 part 1 for the workplace, building owners must have in place luminaries and are also required to test the emergency lighting systems frequently and ensure their maintenance in good working order. If unable or unsure how to procure, install or maintain the emergency lightings, just give us a call. MCFP is here to help on all required stages.
It is essential to understand that during any emergency all exit and escape routes must be lit to a minimum number of lux, as detailed later below. Also, it is crucial to know that there are different emergency light fittings, each in accordance with the legal requirements and the particular needs for their use. As such, there are emergency lightings for open areas, escape routes and stairwells.
1. Emergency Lighting For The Open Area
If the open area is used as the quickest and the safest escape route during an emergency, it must be lit by an at least 1 lux. In the particular case when the open space is not part of the escape route and is less than sixty square meters, the emergency lighting is not required. However, the emergency exit doors must have warning signs and emergency lights that help and guide the personnel accordingly.
2. Emergency Lighting For An Escape Route
Similar to the emergency lighting for the open area, the escape route must be lit by an at least 1 lux, during the emergency or the evacuation of the personnel. Moreover, if the escape route is a corridor, it must be unobstructed and clean of any objects that could impede the flow of people or cause further injuries.
3. Emergency Lighting For Stairwells
Due to increased chances of hazards and accidents, during the emergency, the required amount of light for these areas is a minimum of 2 lux. Stairwells are particularly dangerous in situations of panic or smoke, when people can trip over and impede the flow, causing irremediable damage and loss of lives. Therefore, a minimum 2 lux is required by law as adequate lighting. MCFP is specialised in installing, testing and ensuring all these criteria are met at your workplace and that your business complies with the rules and regulations in place.
Emergency Lighting – How Does It Work?
While normally continuously charged to the main electrical grid during regular operation hours, emergency light fittings have integral batteries as backup power sources. The backup cells are capable of powering the luminaire for at least 3 hours. Also, every emergency light fittings have green LED indicators displaying the batteries are fully charged, the system is power-charging, and everything is in good, functional order. You can rely on MCFP to check and replace the batteries on a regular basis, maintaining and ensuring the integrity of your staff and assets.
Types of emergency lighting:
There are a wide variety of emergency light fittings at the workplace, and MCFP can provide, install, and maintain them all. Some of the most popular to date are the “maintained fitting” and “non-maintained” fitting.
1. Maintained Emergency Lights
The “maintained” system works as a standard light fitting, connected and controlled with all the other lights together. However when the power fails the emergency fitting lights continue to work, yet at a much lower lux level. As the name suggests, maintenance is required.
2. Non-maintained Emergency Lights
In normal stances, these lights are switched off but a green LED displays that the batteries are completely charged. If there is a power cut, the fitting turns on the battery supply. Such attachments are not connected to the general lighting and are typically used as emergency exit signs. If unsure which one is suitable for your business, contact one of MCFP’s specialists today for a free assessment. Irrespective of your choice, rest assured that MCFP can supply emergency light fittings that can operate in both modes, either as maintained or as non-maintained security lights.
3. Combined Emergency Lights
The combined emergency lights are comprising two or more lights, at least one of which is powered up from the emergency lighting supply and the other one via the normal supply. This combined emergency light system can be both maintained or non-maintained, depending on the situation. If unsure, ask the MCFP specialist when on site.
4. Compound Self-contained Emergency Lights
The compound self-contained emergency system is a luminaire able to implement either the maintained or non-maintained emergency lighting, in conjunction with the emergency power supply for a satellite lighting.
5. Satellite Emergency Lights
The satellite emergency lighting system is a luminaire for maintained or non-maintained operations which derives its supply from a self-contained associated compound.
Testing And Servicing Of The Emergency Lighting Systems
The emergency lighting system must be tested by a qualified engineer as it requires the simulation of a mains power failure on the regular lighting circuit, forcing the emergency lighting system to switch to the battery supply.
The systems can be tested either automatically or manually. However, when tested manually, an MCFP engineer is highly recommended. The tester must walk the whole circuit and ensure all emergency lights are operating correctly and after restoring the mains supply, the entire line must be re-checked again to guarantee the emergency lights are recharging. Finally, after the tests, the completion and status of the system must be logged in the fire safety logbook.