Under section 14 of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, every commercial property is legally obliged to ensure that emergency routes, exits and signage are properly illuminated in the event of disruption to the primary lighting system.
This means that should the mains lighting fail, due to a power cut or fire, an emergency lighting system should automatically take over; preventing the further risk of injury and panic.
Emergency lighting covers a range of different lighting systems, including emergency escape lighting, emergency escape route lighting, high risk task area lighting, and open area anti-panic lighting.
Complying With Emergency Lighting Regulations
Most commercial buildings are fitted with emergency lighting systems, however as the regulations surrounding emergency lighting are regularly updated, it is important to have the system professionally evaluated. This will ensure the luminaires and signage meet current standards. Each type of lighting must be tested regularly and maintained in a safe working condition to comply with insurance requirements and legislation.
While monthly function tests are required to ensure each luminaire is clean, present and working correctly, emergency lighting must be tested to British Standards on an annual basis to meet the legal requirements for compliance.
Emergency Lighting Testing Requirements
BS 5266 is a code of practice that regulates the design, installation and performance of emergency lighting. All emergency lighting must conform to British Standards BS 5266 1:2011. As such, any person appointed to perform annual testing, or maintenance must be equipped to work to these standards.
The following British Standards also apply to emergency lighting:
- BS EN 1838:1999 / BS 5266-7:1999 - Specifies the luminance, duration and colour emergency lighting should conform with.
- BS EN 50172:2004 / BS 5266-8:2004 - Regulates the minimum provision for testing emergency escape lighting.
- BS EN 60598-1: 2008 - This is the product standard all luminaires should meet when tested.
- BS EN 62034:2006 - Applies to automatic test systems for battery powered emergency escape lighting.
- BS EN 50171:2001 - Regulates central power supply systems.
Peace Of Mind
The easiest way to conform with each of these provisions is to source an accredited electrical contractor, trained in the regulation and testing of emergency lighting. Services should include monthly function testing, as well as an annual testing and certification, for complete peace of mind that all emergency lighting testing regulations have been met to safe and practicable standards.
For further information regarding the emergency lighting testing and commissioning service available from On Electrical Contractors, call us on 0161 366 1435.