Types of Emergency Lighting.

Recommendations for earlier editions of BS 5266:1 were developed largely to assist the occupants to evacuate a building. There are now options for occupants staying in the premises in the event of supply failure. One of the key updates in BS 5266 is the introduction of two new levels of emergency lighting:

  • Emergency safety lighting

  • Standby lighting

Types of emergency lighting

Emergency escape lighting - Illumination for safe exit of the building

In the event of failure of the supply to the normal lighting, emergency escape lighting should be available to assist occupants to evacuate a building safely by:
 - Locating and identifying exit signs
 - Using the escape routes
 - Conducting safety measures prior to evacuation

The recommended illuminance given as a minimum (escape routes and open areas) or average ( high risk task areas) should be regarded as the lowest value acceptable. It specifies requirements for all types of spaces typical in commercial environments - open areas, high risk task areas, small offices, medium offices smaller than 60 m2 and main offices larger than 60 m2.

There are no changes for emergency escape lighting, but one thing to take away from this part of the standard is that the system has to cover all escape routes to a place of safety.

Emergency safety lighting- Illumination for safety in the building

If a building is not evacuated immediately, additional measures might need to be included in risk assessment. If the risk assessment allows the occupants to stay in the building, and a staged evacuation plan is put in place during power failure, emergency safety lighting will allow the occupants to stay in an area of the building. But this lighting is not enough for functional tasks to be carried out.

Standby lighting- Illumination for continued activity

Standby lighting should permit the occupants to operate the premises during the power failure. This needs to provide the same lighting as the lighting provided by the normal lighting system.

Emergency lighting doesn't have to be boring.

You can learn everything you need to know in our 'Whodunnit?' themed CPD - accredited by CIBSE and The CPD Certification Service. Packed with familiar characters and movie references in a sci-fi setting,  the hour-long session won't feel like a chore at all.