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Emergency Lighting

Emergency lighting provides lighting for an emergency situation when the main power supply is cut and any normal illumination fails. The loss of mains electricity could be the result of a fire or a power cut and the normal lighting supplies fail. This may lead to sudden darkness and a possible danger to the occupants, either through physical danger or panic.

Emergency lighting is normally required to operate fully automatically and give illumination of a sufficiently high level to enable all occupants to evacuate the premises safely.

BS 5266 recommends the provision of horizontal illumination at floor level along the centre line of a defined escape route (permanently unobstructed) not less than 1 lux, and 0.5 lux for anti-panic areas, to exclude a 0.5m border around the route. In addition, for escape routes of up to 2m wide, 50% of the route width should be lit to a minimum of 1 lux. Wider escape routes can be treated as a number of 2m wide bands. The actual degree of illumination should be closely related to the nature of both the premises and its occupants, with special consideration being given to care homes for the elderly, hospitals, crowded venues such as pubs, nightclubs and supermarkets, and to whether or not the premises have overnight accommodation, e.g. hotels.