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Emergency Lighting – revised standard

The British Standard for Emergency Lighting BS5266 has recently been updated, so we are taking this opportunity to remind you of the importance of compliant fire emergency lights.


Who needs Emergency Lighting?

Could all the occupants of your building get out safely if the mains lighting failed? If the answer is ‘No’, then it is likely that you require Emergency Lighting. There are, however, some small premises where the low number of occupants and the presence of sufficient ‘borrowed light’ (e.g. from street lighting) negates the need for Emergency Lighting, for example, a small high street shop open between 09:00 and 17:00.

Read more on fire emergency lights


Where do I need to locate Emergency Light fittings?

You will usually require professional assistance in deciding exactly where Emergency Light units should be installed on your premises, but key areas include:

  • All escape routes
  • Rooms larger than 60m2
  • Disabled toilets and multiple toilet facilities
  • Plant rooms and meter cupboards
  • Adjacent to fire extinguishers and fire alarm call points
  • Adjacent to final exit doors
  • Outside final exit doors


Do I need to update my existing Emergency Lighting to comply with the latest standard?

British Standards are not usually applied retrospectively; however, it is recognised good practice to have a plan in place to upgrade at a suitable point because the changes in the standards reflect the results of research as well as technological advancements. Some parts of the recommendations are more important or relevant to your situation than others and your Fire Risk Assessment should take this into account. For example, if you were seeking to provide for disabled persons, emergency lighting in the disabled toilet would be an important upgrade.

Find out more about emergency lighting


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