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Guest PeterG

Do I really need emergency lighting?

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If it's vacant then you don't necessarily have to test it as long as you have a suitable risk appropriate alternative for those rare occasions of occupancy. All non essential power (sometimes including lighting) is often isolated to reduce fire risks (and the bill) so fittings will be discharged.

Torches are acceptable as emergency lighting in certain circumstances.

It's all down to the risk assessment - vacant premises FRA's are different beast to those for occupied premises and are often carried out as part of Health & Safety Liability Audits for fully vacant space

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Guest Steve

Further to this topic, is it necessary for emergency lighting in a house used as a holiday let? I have a 150 year old ex-miners cottage and it does not seem 'reasonable' (the governments oft used qualifier on much of the Fire Regulation requirements) or cost effective to install so much intrusive tech in a small stone cottage. If it is, would the plug in 'torch' type lighting suffice?

 

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All holiday lets are covered by the The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and you should study the following leaflet which should provide all the guidance you need, https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/do-you-have-paying-guests.

If you require guidance on individual fire safety issues check out, http://www.firesafe.org.uk

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Guest Paul

Dear fountain of all fire safety knowledge, 

I'm looking in to the fire safety regulations for a school and the fire risk assessment (Jan 2016 - i'm aware we are well overdue) mentioned only about the testing of the Emergency Lighting. When I spoke to our certified electrician, he informs me that they can fix the emergency lighting system (some of it is testable, portions aren't - very old Grade 2 listed building) but all of the fire safety signage in that building will need to be illuminated. 

Is this the case or can some of it be photoluminescent?

I've looked everywhere on the internet to try and find a definitive version - so I thought i'd ask the fountain of all knowledge.

Many thanks

Paul

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The all emergency lighting has to be tested according to BS EN 50172:2004 or BS 5266-8:2004, those portion that are not then they need to be modified so they can.

All the fire safety signage in that building will need to be illuminated, but that does not mean illuminated exit boxes, providing there is an EL luminaire near to the sign that is capable of illuminating the sign then that is acceptable. Illuminated exit boxes are only required where the normal lighting is dimmed to a very low level like theatres or cinemas (temporary or otherwise).

Photoluminescent signs may be acceptable is certain areas dependent on the FRA.

Check out http://www.firesafe.org.uk/emergency-lighting/  and http://www.safelincs.co.uk/emergency-lighting-guide/ 

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Guest Ally Herron

We currently occupy a rented office. Who is responsible for providing the emergency lighting for the building?

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You are responsible for a fire risk assessment and determining if you require EL as you are both an employer and a person having control of all or part of a premises by way of your lease.

Most rented office suites have their own meter and distribution board which you are responsible for - the lighting is under your control as a result including the EL need

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Guest Brad Parker

Hi, questions reference borrowed lighting; 1) if the 'street lighting' is on the same phase as the 'premise lighting' and there is a power failure to the street lighting and/or area, then the premise has no emergency escape lighting.  Is this acceptable when considering designing emergency lighting systems 2) there are different lux levels, required at the points of emphasis within a premise i.e. centre line of an escape route and say, a manual call point.  How is the photometric data gathered and designed around borrowed lighting, when most certainly shadows will form in areas not covered by windows.

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Your points are valid and why every revision of BS5266 reduces the acceptance of borrowed lighting more  & more and if you have an escape route and open area that at any time of use would require you to switch the electrical lighting on there is a good chance you will need emergency lighting.

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Guest Barry C

Hi all,

 

Is it a legal requirement to provide emergency lighting outside a building e.g in the car park?

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For many years a compliant installation would have had an EL fitting outside each final fire exit and to external stairs, but the 2017 update to the standards now includes cover to the external route to a place of ultimate safety. It's not automatically retrospective, but Fire Risk Assessments need to judge if the risk by not updating is tolerable or not- some places will need it, others not. 

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Guest Andrew

I work in an outdoor education centre.  We have sleeping accommodation too.  I always thought that our system was a 1 hour system, as the centre is not that large and evacuation is quite quick.

We conduct a monthly check of all lights and are slowly replacing old lights/batteries etc. On our last annual inspection, they did a full 3 hour test; during which quite a few failed; as they would.

My main questions and comments are:  if a system is designed to stay illuminated for 3 hours then surely they have done there job and will fail at 3 hours.  This test seems to not make sense to me?

Who stipulates how long we need them to last?

Are we able to work with the testing company to ask them to test for shorter?

Appreciate any comments

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A 3 hour fitting has to be tested to and meet it's full rated duration. If it's lasted less than that it fails, you replace it. Fittings aren't that expensive these days, e.g. https://www.safelincs.co.uk/eden-led-emergency-bulkhead-light/

The relevant standard BS5266-1 requires sleeping accommodation to have fittings with a three hour duration.

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Guest Rifhard

must an emergency light in the electrical cupboard (where meters are stored) need to be flick tested each month?  residential block of flats

 

thanks

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Guest Ian Malone

Before discussing Emergency lights should we not discuss normal artificial light and lighting standards, most lights are poorly maintained and effectively only work properly for the first period of their installation. Maintaining lights surely should include , cleaning and changing covers or damaged parts , yet when . An emergency light is only there to provide COVER when the other lighting fails, so it is only part of an emergency system , at other times general light should be MAINTAINED at a level as to not add risk and this should include the fact these are electrical items that need respect and that emergency lights have a secondary supply and therefor a greater risk of creating a problem ,

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The normal lighting is used daily and any defects or low standards will be known quickly and under the Health and Safety at Work Act they will be required to correct the situation. The emergency lighting will only operate if the normal lighting fails, so there is no way of knowing if it is defective until it is tested or maintenance and is subject to The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. This forum is a fire safety forum  not a health and safety forum so we tend to concentrate on emergency lighting.

  

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