Government guidance states that it must be possible to escape from a building in case of fire if the normal lighting fails.
Is emergency lighting required?
“People in your premises must be able to find their way to a place of total safety if there is a fire by using escape routes that have enough lighting.”
Fire Safety Risk Assessment, Department for Communities and Local Government
In large or complex buildings or if the escape route in a building doesn’t have any windows, such as an internal corridor, then it is likely that some form of backup lighting will be required. Escape routes that are through small, single storey, open plan buildings may have sufficient borrowed light, from street lights to illuminate the escape route.
Simulating a lighting circuit failure, at night, by turning off all the lights in the building is a good way to check if there is enough light to find the exit routes, activate the fire alarm, read the instructions on the fire extinguisher and shut down any machinery or close down any processes.
It is important to remember it must also be possible to see and use escape routes that may not normally be illuminated. These could be external escape routes or internal corridors.
Emergency lighting and luminescent systems
In an emergency situation such as a fire, it is vitally important to be able to get away from danger as quickly as possible. Being able to see the exit route is crucial. If there is no light at all or the level of lighting has been dramatically reduced due to smoke, there is a real danger of injury simply by walking into objects or falling downstairs.
Where there is no borrowed light, such as from street lights, a guaranteed light source must be available. For example, emergency lighting fitted with a battery as a backup power source, or a luminescent way-finding system.
Smoke rises in a fire, so to ensure that people can see the exit route, installing low-level way-finding systems or emergency lighting will help people crawling underneath the smoke.
Lighting the way
We can supply a range of emergency lighting to make sure that escape routes are properly illuminated.