EXIT & EMERGENCY LIGHTING
What Are Exit & Emergency Lights?
Exit and Emergency lighting impacts each facet of protocol in an evacuation; from crowd control and directional cues to hazard avoidance in stairwells, hallways and external grounds.
Staff, guests, building occupants and visitors should all be able to navigate their route out of a building in an emergency.
Exit and Emergency lighting is wired to the building’s electrical supply and will commonly have its own dedicated electrical circuit for redundancy. All emergency lights are fitted with their own dedicated battery to function as a backup power supply for when the building loses power.
Why Do Buildings Have Exit & Emergency Lights
The Building Code of Australia volume 1 parts E4.0, E4.2, E4.4, E4.5, E4.6., E4.7 and E4.8 detail the mandatory requirement for exit and emergency lighting to be provided in various classes of buildings.
Where Should Exit & Emergency Lights Be Located?
Australian Standard AS/NZS 2293.1 Emergency lighting and exit signs for buildings (system design, installation and operation) provide designers, installers and certifiers of emergency lighting and exit signage schemes with the relevant requirements and guidance for the provision of emergency lighting and exit signs to all designated spaces within a building.
This is to ensure an acceptable level of illumination for the safe evacuation of occupants from those spaces in an emergency.
How Do Exit & Emergency Lights Operate?
Upon failure of the electrical supply to the normal lighting in an area, irrespective of whether or not it is illuminated, each relevant emergency luminaire and exit sign shall be energised from its emergency supply.
At any time during the life of an installation, the duration of satisfactory operation on emergency power of every emergency escape luminaire or exit sign shall not be less than 90 minutes except where applicable building regulations specify a shorter minimum period.
Maintenance, Inspection & Testing
Western Australia’s building legislation requires owners of Class 2 to Class 9 buildings (which includes residential apartments) to ensure the building’s safety measures are maintained.
This is to ensure that safety systems remain capable of performing to a standard not less than they were originally required and commissioned to achieve.
There is a financial penalty for noncompliance with the building legislation. Penalties are imposed for non-compliance with the proper installation and maintenance of exit and emergency lighting, on building owners, building managers and employers.
Exit and emergency lighting must be tested every six months in accordance with AS/NZS2293.2. There is an additional inspection and test checklist required to be undertaken yearly.