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Electrical & Fire Systems

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Emergency Lighting FAQs

Emergency lighting systems are not always easy to understand and are made up of many components, meaning there are often questions that you might have regarding terminology or how they work. In this article, we’ll be going over some of the main FAQ’s about emergency lighting. If you still can’t find the answer to your question here, get in touch with us and our experts will be happy to help.

Do I Need An Emergency Lighting System?

All commercial buildings must be able to clearly illuminate escape routes and fire exits during an emergency, which means that nearly all businesses in the UK will require an emergency lighting system present on their premises. This is in order to comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

How Long Will My Emergency Lights Last?

Older fittings and traditional systems are likely to last around 4-5 years before they will need replacing. Newer LED lights and exit signs however can last up to 7-10 years before you will need to replace them.

Why Do My Emergency Lights Need Testing / Inspecting?

BS 5266 Standards outline the regulations in place for emergency lighting systems in the UK. These standards must be adhered to in order to remain compliant with fire safety laws, and state that all emergency lighting systems must be inspected annually with monthly tests in place.

What Does An Emergency Lighting Inspection Involve?

When a professional – like TF Installations – comes to carry out your annual inspection, they will check to make sure that every light is working and that they have at least a 3 hour capacity. The entire system will be checked to make sure that bulbs, fittings, and batteries are all working sufficiently to keep the system on for at least 3 hours.

All findings will also be recorded in your log book so that it remains up-to-date per regulation requirements.

What Is A Luminaire?

You might hear the term “luminaire” used when looking into emergency lighting. It is simply the technical term for the light fitting/fixture used as part of the system, which has been designed to illuminate and provide light during an emergency situation.

What’s The Difference Between Emergency Lighting And Normal Lighting?

You may be wondering what the difference between emergency lighting and normal building lighting is, and why normal lighting fixtures are not suitable. A few key differences are what make emergency lighting systems much more suitable to emergency situations:

  • Emergency lighting systems are powered by batteries that are separate to your building’s main electrical system – enabling them to continue working even if the power goes out.
  • Emergency lighting fixtures are typically brighter and more obvious than regular lighting, better illuminating the way out when your building is dark.
  • Whilst normal lighting fixtures are placed to best illuminate the entire space, emergency lighting fixtures are strategically placed only to illuminate exits and evacuation routes.

Can I Install My Own Emergency Lighting Or Use My Normal Electrician?

It can be tempting to DIY your emergency lighting, however this is an extremely risky route to take. There are a number of specific requirements and details that fire safety laws state your system must meet, and only an experienced fire safety expert can ensure that your system is in compliance and will do the job properly. 

Having a system installed by someone who isn’t completely familiar with all safety and fire safety regulations in the UK can quickly lead to system failure which could leave your building unsafe in an emergency or cost you significantly should your building be inspected.