Types and functions of emergency lighting


Types and functions of emergency lighting
While legislation requires organizations carry out risk assessments to ensure the safety of building occupants, legislation also states suitable lighting is provided in the event of a failure to supply normal lighting.

During the failure of normal lighting, it might not be necessary or appropriate to evacuate the premises. As we see in the diagram below, emergency lighting comes in a variety of types and can therefore provide a variety of functions – that may or may not be used strictly during emergencies.

Broadly speaking, the functions are as follows:

  • Emergency escape lighting: provides illumination of escape routes, signs and special areas to help people safely leave the premises
  • Emergency safety lighting: provides lighting to help people safely move through a premises and/or leave the premises
  • Standby lighting: powered by an alternate power supply, this lighting provides sufficient illumination to continue normal operations in the event of a total failure in mains power

Please note: standby lighting systems are highly specialized, and are typically used only in high-risk premises, such as hospitals. It’s also important to note, conventional emergency lighting may be required between the failure of normal supply and the availability of standby supply.

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