When thinking about lighting installation and safety systems, everyone thinks of fire safety and fire alarms and smoke detection systems. One of the overlooked aspects of a safe environment is safety light installation systems, also known as emergency light installation.
What is emergency lighting?
Emergency lighting systems are a series of lighting fixtures that engage when the main power fails, and the property is enshrined in darkness. The cause for this power failure can be anything, from natural disasters to electrical fails or a blackout. These lighting systems are connected to power supply or are fitted with batteries, to illuminate important areas and routes during an emergency.
Are emergency lights relevant when it comes to fire safety?
Smoke alarms work great as an early warning system to evacuate the building, but what if the smoke is spread in large volumes throughout the building? The occupants will have trouble finding the emergency route unless a series of fire-proof lighting fixtures are fitted all over the property in key areas to guide everyone to emergency exits.
In general, fire safety should be considered in designing any lighting installation systems, but when it comes to emergency lights, figuring out air passages is vital in placing the lights in the right positions.
Emergency lighting can help save lives in a fire!
Sometimes the difference between life and death in a few seconds, especially when you try to get out of a building on fire and smoke covers everywhere, giving you no sense of direction. An emergency beacon of light can be like a lighthouse in the storm, guiding anyone lost in the building to safety.
What areas should be illuminated by emergency lighting installation?
For residential properties, the lighting fixtures should illuminate the emergency escape routes and other areas of interest with at least 0.2 lux intensity of light to comply with the British Standard Code of Compliance for emergency lighting. This includes staircases, hallways and corridors. Other areas of interest include emergency firefighting stations and equipment, fire extinguishers and consumer units or fuse boxes.
In industrial properties, such as workshops or factories, these areas of interest include any location where heavy machinery operates or dangerous tasks are undertaken or data centres. If there is no existing wiring, new circuits must be added to add areas of interest to the lighting system.
How long should emergency lights stay on?
In the event of a fire and after the power goes out, the evacuation should be completed in less than an hour. That’s the standard time emergency lighting fixtures should last in the event of an emergency.
If the property is a house with multiple occupants, such as in hotels and hostels, this duration is extended to three hours to accommodate for large scale building evacuation that may be more complicated.
More about emergency lighting types and specifications
Emergency lighting systems are generally categorized by their power source, and how they are activated after an alarm. There are differences in between the level of safety these models offer. If they are connected to the main power source, there is less chance of battery failure when an emergency does occur.
Emergency lights should be tested regularly to ensure the functionality
Emergency light fixtures are built to be tough and withstand the environment they are designed for, which is why there are different types of lighting installations for different terrains on the market. However, all these fixtures must be subject to regulated oversight by a registered electrician who is adept at lighting wiring every six months.
You can carry out a visual test every week, and check to see if all fixtures are functional with a simple test every month. All you need to do is cut off the main power to see if all fixtures power on, and whether there are any strange light flickering or fluctuations to report to your electrician.
LED lighting installations are the best option for energy saving
LED lights are known to be more efficient and safer than their predecessors, as they can run on extremely low voltages without sacrificing illumination intensity. This makes them perfect candidates for battery-powered emergency light fixtures that are harder to maintain and are installed in inaccessible locations.
LED lighting fixtures are considerably cheaper than other alternatives as well, which has been driving their popularity for new buyers, as most electricians recommend emergency lighting installation in London with LED lighting systems.
Lighting installation in lifts and elevators
Getting stuck inside a lift is a frightening experience, especially if the elevator is situated inside the building with no glass doors. Emergency lighting systems are a great way to prevent anyone stuck in the elevators from panicking. The standards of installation are similar to other areas.
What is maintained or non-maintained lighting systems?
A maintained lighting system can be used in non-emergency situations as well and can be turned on and off with a switch. once on-off mode, they will only power up during an emergency when the power is cut. These lighting fixtures can be used for decoration as well as guidance systems for cinemas and theatres.
Non-maintained lighting systems are only triggered when the power goes out, and are usually powered up by a battery. A dedicated emergency power supply is usually fitted along with non-maintained systems to keep the batteries charged.