Does my business need emergency lighting?

Let’s face it, summer is over. The mercury is dropping, the heating is coming back on and  the nights are drawing in. It happens every year, but it never seems to get easier. There are plenty of things we need to do to get our domestic space ready for winter, but we also need to think about our commercial premises, too. As darkness comes around much quicker, if the lights were to fail due to a fire, navigating the building’s escape route would become impossible. Also, this goes without saying, it would be extremely dangerous.

Even if such an event may seem extremely improbable, if there is even an outside chance that it might happen, then it’s certainly worth putting systems in place to avoid it. That is why this month, Cheshire Fire will cover what emergency lighting is and why you need it.

What is emergency lighting?

Emergency lighting is fairly self-explanatory: it is a particular system of lights, a backup system, which switch on when the normal system fails, helping the occupants of the building to make their way to the exit.

When it comes to emergency lighting there are three main aspects to the way that it operates:


  • Escape route lighting: This is the part of the emergency lighting system which enables anyone in the building to evacuate quickly and safely. Corridors, stairways and fire-fighting equipment will all be illuminated, in order for people to see where they are going and take necessary action. It is clear why, in the event of a power failure, emergency lighting is an absolute necessity.
  • Open-area lighting: In larger, more central areas of the building, emergency lighting can be triggered with the fire alarm to provide extra aid to people unfamiliar with the layout. This is particularly necessary in large shopping centres where there may be many visitors who are not sure where to head in an emergency.
  • High-risk task lighting: This lighting enables people stuck in a difficult scenario to perform difficult or dangerous processes, for example, specific shutdown or fire-fighting procedures related to the building. If this lighting wasn’t in place, then – even if they could find there way towards particular exits – there’s a chance that people could still not escape.



Maintained and non-maintained lighting

A further important distinction between different forms of emergency lighting is maintained and non-maintained lighting.

Non-maintained lighting works in the following way: when a power failure occurs, they detect it and switch on immediately. This type of lighting is more common in premises where the people occupying the building are likely to know the layout.

Maintained lighting, on the other hand, is on all the time. That is, it often doubles as additional standard lighting, but is powered by an entirely separate unit; meaning it stays lit when the main system fails. This type of lighting is more common in public buildings like shopping centres, where occupants are unfamiliar with the layout.

Here at Cheshire Fire, our experts are on hand to design and install emergency lighting systems at all commercial premises, ensuring that your system meets regulation standards and provides adequate lighting for everyone in the case of an emergency evacuation.

We also provide periodical inspections and maintenance surveys to ensure that your emergency lighting system is consistently functioning fully and to your specific needs. Contact us today for a free site survey, or more information on any of the services we offer- we’re more than happy to help.