Revised British Standards on emergency lighting: ‘Stay-put’ & ‘Sweep’
You may be aware that there have been some changes to the British Standards concerning emergency lighting this year. Without going into great depth, we thought it would be useful to highlight the main amendments so you can decide whether you need to find out more.
The main change to the standard has been to include emergency safety lighting and standby lighting as well as emergency escape lighting. This recognises that in many buildings (including care homes, blocks of flats etc.) occupants may not be immediately required to vacate the premises in the event of a power failure, and hence additional emergency lighting may be required to enable them to remain in the building safely.
In addition, emergency lighting is now required to allow safety measures to be conducted prior to evacuation – for example, shut-down of equipment or floor sweeps to ensure all occupants have left the building. Current levels of emergency lighting may not be sufficient in terms of light level or duration.
One-hour duration emergency lighting is now only acceptable if the building is evacuated immediately in the event of a power failure and not re-occupied until full capacity has been restored to the batteries. Three-hour duration emergency lighting is required in all other properties – for example sleeping accommodation, care premises, recreational premises, sports stadia, shops and common areas in blocks of flats.