It is a legal obligation for businesses and companies in the UK to provide the necessary emergency lighting. Emergency lighting is needed for several circumstances, including the event of fire or power failure. They act as an essential safety feature, enabling safe exit from a building and diffusion of panic, should it be required. There are a range of different emergency lights tailored to their location or purpose within a building.
Escape route lighting
This is necessary for access and exit routes within a building. They are typically installed above stairs and doors in order to provide a clear view of the fire exits. They are often used along the floor too, in steps and carpet in order to ensure a view from any position or location within a room.
Open area lighting
Open area lighting guides people within a room to the nearest exit route. These are typically needed within large offices or rooms where guidance is necessary to find the fire exit door. Once at the fire exit door, there will be the escape route lighting as mentioned. This lighting is effective at minimising fear and panic.
High risk task lighting
In a high risk and dangerous environment, this lighting is vital. It provides the people involved lighting to shut down dangerous equipment, or follow necessary safety procedures to avoid worsening the problem.
This lighting is designed to automatically come on when a power failure occurs. They essentially act as a back-up for power cuts, allowing time for the main power to be restored and fully functioning. Standby lighting is not required by law, however it can be really useful should an unexpected power cut occur and can help diffuse panic.
Escape route lighting, as well as open area lighting and high risk task lighting, are required by law in organisations such as offices, hotels and shops. Emergency lighting should meet BS 5266-1:2011 standards in order to work effectively and safely.