The need for Emergency Lighting comes from the South African government, Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHS Act 85 of 1993) and Environmental Regulations for Workplaces 1987.
Written by: Arc Lighting CC
29 July 2019
Emergency lighting is lighting for an emergency situation when the main power supply is lost and any normal illumination fails. The loss of mains electricity could be the result of a power cut or a fire and the normal lighting supplies fail. This may lead to sudden darkness and a possible danger to the occupants, either through physical danger or panic.
Emergency lighting is normally required to operate fully automatically and give illumination of a sufficiently high level to enable all occupants to evacuate the premises safely. Most new buildings now have emergency lighting installed during construction; the design and type of equipment being specified by the architect in accordance with current building regulations and any local authority requirements.
WHAT IS EMERGENCY LIGHTING?
Lighting that automatically comes on when the power supply to the normal lighting provision fails.
Emergency lighting is a general term and is sub-divided into Emergency Escape Lighting and Standby Lighting.
EMERGENCY ESCAPE LIGHTING
Emergency Escape Lighting is provided to enable safe exit from a location in the event of a failure of the normal supply.
Emergency Escape Lighting > Escape Route Lighting
ESCAPE ROUTE LIGHTING
Escape Route Lighting is provided to assist the safe exit from a location for the occupants by supplying appropriate visual conditions and direction finding on escape routes and in special locations, and to ensure that fire fighting and safety equipment can be readily located and used. There are special requirements for particular points of emphasis within the escape route.
Safety Signs is to provide appropriate visual conditions and direction finding to assist escape routes to be readily located and used. Safety signs include escape route direction signs, emergency exit signs and other safety deemed by risk assessment as needing to be legible under emergency lighting conditions.
Emergency Escape Lighting > Open Area Lighting
OPEN AREA LIGHTING
Open Area (anti-panic) lighting reduces the likelihood of panic and to enable safe movement of occupants towards escape routes by providing appropriate visual conditions and direction finding. The flow of light for escape routes or open areas should be downward to the working plane but illumination should also be provided to any obstruction up to 2 m height above that plane.
Emergency Escape Lighting > High Risk Task Area Lighting
HIGH RISK TASK AREA LIGHTING
High risk task area lighting ensures the safety of people involved in a potentially dangerous process or situation and to assist proper shut down procedures to be carried out for the safety of other occupants of the location.
Standby lighting is intended to allow occupants to operate the premises normally. Powdered by an alternative power supply source, should provide the same lighting conditions as those provided by the normal lighting system.
Emergency Lighting Design
Following consultation with all parties the following areas should all be identified on the details plans prior to initiating design of the system.
- Escape routes;
- Positions of fire alarm call points;
- Position of all fire-fighting equipment;
- Position of escape route signs – emergency exit signs at doors and escape route direction signs and all other safety signs;
- Potential hazards on escape routes;
- Open areas that require emergency lighting;
- Any requirements for external emergency escape lighting;
- Position of lights;
- Position of moving stairways and walkways;
- Position of toilet, lobby and closet accommodation over 8 m2 gross area, facilities less than 8 m2 without borrowed light and those for use by disabled people;
- Position of motor generator, control, plant and switch rooms;
- Position of covered car parks;
- Areas that require standby lighting;
- Areas for the location of central power supply units and routes of low fire risk for distribution cables;
- High risk task areas and specific locations that require emergency lighting;
- Establish areas that require emergency safety lighting i.e Stay put areas.