OK, so we are going to kick off this blog by saying that we are quite passionate about Emergency Lighting. It doesn’t seem that cool or glamorous (not like data cabling…right?), but the fact is, that properly designed, installed and most importantly maintained emergency lighting actually saves lives!
In an emergency situation if 20% of your lighting isn’t good enough, or even worse, doesn’t even work, then a percentage of your staff, visitors and customers (maybe 20%, maybe more) are not going to be able to safety exit your premises and this WILL result in injury and yes maybe even deaths.
Emergency lighting is not just a regulatory box to be ticked, it is essential to an organisation’s infrastructure and people’s lives. In an emergency or if your power is interrupted appropriate and well-maintained emergency lighting will ensure the safety of everyone in your organisation.
In this blog we’ll guide you through the important factors to consider when choosing the right emergency lighting for your organisation.
Understanding the Regulations
Although, as we mentioned earlier emergency lighting is not a box ticking exercise, it is important to understand your legal obligations. Requirements vary depending on the size and layout of your premises, the number of people on site and how you use the space. Complying with regulations is not just about the design of your emergency lighting, it also covers installation, testing, maintenance and most importantly fixing any issues!
Conduct a Risk Assessment
The first formal step when thinking about emergency lighting for your organisation is to carry out a risk assessment to evaluate the specific risks in your business and premise. You will need to consider the layout of your space, how many people are on site at different times, what activities take place in your organisation and any potential hazards. The purpose of this risk assessment is to ensure that every area will have the right level of illumination in an emergency.
Decide What Types of Lighting are Required
There are various types of emergency lighting, we won’t go into all of the options here, but the main ones to consider are;
- Illuminated Exit Signs to provide clear directions in an emergency
- Emergency Lights which automatically activate when required
- Safety Luminaries which illuminate escape routes and critical areas
Your risk assessment and knowledge of health and safety regulations will dictate what you need and where.
Think About Your Power Source
Emergency lighting must still work when your premises does not have access to normal power. There are various options, including;
- Battery back up
- Generator back up
- Centralised battery systems
Which power source is right for your organisation will depend on your budget, needs and how long you will need the power to last in an emergency.
Think About Energy Efficiency
Although they can be more expensive to buy and install, energy efficient emergency lighting can be a great choice due to their long lifespan and, of course, the savings in the cost of energy. LED lights also provide great levels of illumination. Consider the long-term costs of your emergency lighting as well as the initial budget. To find out more about energy efficient electrical installations why not read our blog.
Plan Your Testing and Maintenance
Legislation states that your emergency lighting must be tested and maintained regularly (usually once a month), this is to ensure that they will function properly in an emergency. Create a schedule to test the system regularly and ensure it is adhered to. Because making reparations, repairs and upgrades to emergency lighting costs money, many organisations are tempted to do the bare minimum. We would always advise doing ALL of the fixes suggested in your reports, and as soon as possible.
It is always beneficial to seek professional advice when dealing with emergency lighting. We have many years of experience in designing, installing and maintaining emergency lighting systems and can provide valuable insights and recommendations on the best system for your organisation.
We are also excited to be able to share with you that we are currently developing a new emergency lighting system that will negate ongoing maintenance costs! Our new system won’t just save organisations time and effort…it will also save them money and most importantly it will save lives!