Monday, September 5, 2011

Boom - Boom: Out Go The Lights

Emergency Lighting Systems have come a long way in the past few years.  Both LED and battery technology have improved significantly, so it is much easier to obtain brighter and longer lasting illumination of signs and emergency egress routes.  In the US we typically refer to both local building codes, the NFPA 101 Life Safety Code Chapter 7 and NFPA 70 National Electric Code Article 700.  In the UK there is BS 5266.

Hochiki Europe has put together a great little guide book that shows where and how Emergency Lighting should be deployed in a facility.  The guide book can be downloaded here:

Although the BS 5266 standards are slightly different than the US standards, this is still a good example guide to read for US venue operators as the basic principles are well documented and the graphic examples are clear and concise.

One of the leading failures of many emergency lighting systems is the battery.  If the battery system is not maintained and tested they can fail to perform.  The lights must be tested regularly, and they must be operated under emergency power for an extended time to ensure that when called upon they will light the way for safe egress from a facility.

The example above shows corroded battery cells with low electrolyte levels.

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