Emergency Lighting Maintenance
Emergency lighting is essential for the safety of building occupants where a sudden loss of light would prevent safe passage from the premises.
The Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order 2005 and British Standards 5266 (BS 5266 Part 1: 2011 – The code of practice for emergency escape lighting – which provides general guidance on the provision and operation of emergency lighting. BS 5266: 2008 Part 10, guidance on risk assessments in all types of premises except individual dwelling houses) state that emergency lighting is needed in the following circumstances:
Types of lighting systems
There are three main kinds of emergency lighting systems;
The required operating duration for emergency lighting varies according to the use of the building and can vary from a minimum of one hour to three hours depending on the requirements of the building or the activities taking place within the premises.
|Emergency lighting testing
BS5266: 2004 Part 8 requires that installed emergency lighting systems shall have continued maintenance and periodic testing carried out, as defined in the standard. In practice, the emergency luminaires must be and functionally tested every month and for their full rated duration annually.
The purpose of this periodic testing is to ensure the satisfactory operation of each emergency luminaire, to establish that the light output from each luminaire is sufficient, and ultimately that the system is still fit for purpose and that it corresponds with the requirements of the standards.
For safety reasons, the standards advise that the emergency lighting testing should be carried out at times of least risk to the buildings occupants or if possible, when the premises are unoccupied or in unoccupied portions of those premises.
Emergency lighting can be activated only when mains power fails, or can be part of general lighting as well.
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