In 2016 the Health and Safety Executive amended the emergency (BS 5266-1) for all business-related buildings across the UK (but also multi-storey dwellings). In this blog we will cover some of the main areas you need to be aware of and how we can help you. We understand 2016 was 4 years ago, however we also understand that a lot of businesses are still not 100% compliant with the regulations.
What is Emergency Lighting?
Simply put it is lighting that comes on when the power is interrupted or in case of a fire (or emergency that requires the occupants to leave the building), when triggered they will guide people to the exits so they can leave the building quickly and safely. They are battery powered and should remain on for at least 3 hours. Once power is restored those batteries will then recharge ready for the next time.
To protect your staff, clients, and contractors in case of an emergency in your building and because it is a legal requirement!
Consequences of poor emergency lighting
In 2018 a man sadly lost his life at an Aberdeen indoor market due to poor emergency lighting. The company responsible for the business admitted the failures and they were fined £80,000.
Taken from the original article which you can find here: IFSEC Global
The lights at a Tata steel factory in Wales failed ‘completely’ during an accident in which 300 tonnes of molten metal was spilled. Three employees suffered serious burns because of the accident at Tata Strip Products in Port Talbot in April 2013. Tata pleaded guilty at Swansea Crown Court to failing to ensure the safety of workers, and was fined £200,000, and asked to pay £11,190 costs.
Taken from the original article which you can find here: Lux Review
How do I know if I am compliant?
We have identified some of the key points of the emergency lighting regulations, these are all areas that would be inspected by the HSE.
Would you be able to provide the following if asked?
- Emergency lighting risk assessment
- Drawings for all areas including “points of emphasis” which includes exit points, lights, fire extinguishers, fire blanket, break glass units, defibrillators etc.
- Test schedule (monthly tests by competent trained professional)
- Proof of annual battery discharge
- Lux plots – showing the light levels for all the routes to muster points
And your lighting should:
- Luminaires located at mandatory ‘points of emphasis’ – for example exit signs of the correct format and size should be placed at exit doors, outside fire exits and near first aid points
- Luminaires located at essential areas in the building – for example toilets, kitchens, fire equipment, first aid and treatment rooms.
- Lighting along all escape routes
- Lighting within open areas includes areas larger than 60m2, areas with an escape route passing through them, or areas with hazards identified by the building risk assessment.
- Tailored lighting for high risk task areas for example, plant and production lines or control rooms that manage critical processes.
How Often Should Emergency Lights Be Tested?
- Monthly tests should cover the basic functionality of the emergency lighting. This means that although thorough they only need to be short in duration.
- Annual tests should switch on all emergency lighting for its full minimum duration, i.e. the minimum length of time it can stay on in the event of a power outage, under UK law this is three hours.
How we can help you be compliant and stay compliant?
There are a few different systems on the market, choosing a more advanced system could mean significant time and cost savings. With the right system you could future-proof your emergency system and reduce your longer-term maintenance costs.
One of these technologies is Dynamic Self-Managed (DSM) meshing technology. This clever tech provides remote access to the lights providing both monitoring and failure detection. Providing you with peace of mind that your emergency lighting will work when you need them most and will also provide you the reports to show your compliance.
We have teamed up with our one of our partners to provide you with a solution that could pay for itself and could allow for an upgrade of both your Emergency Lighting and all other lighting around the school. The monthly payment includes maintenance. monitoring and replacements if needed.