Importance of emergency lighting in commercial premises

Emergency lighting is an essential feature for a commercial building, which is life saving in the event of a fire. A generator powered lighting system ensures that emergency lighting remains fully operational, even if the main power supply is lost. When a fire alarm sounds unscheduled and a fire begins to spread through a building, a sense of panic can cause confusion, as many begin to forget their buildings fire procedures. A fire in sudden darkness only increases disorientation thereby increasing the risk of injury or death. A clear route signalled by lights will make it easier to leave the building in the safest manner possible in the event of a fire. It is crucial to have a well designed emergency lighting system in place to protect lives.

Ensuring your emergency lighting is sufficiently powered is an important detail when choosing the right system for your commercial building. Legally, the light must stay on for a full hour once the main power has gone (this increases to three hours in sleeping accommodation). There are two different types of power supply your emergency lighting may rely on:

  • Self contained – A battery run system which has a cheaper and faster installation process, low maintenance costs, and greater integrity (due to the independence of each light).
  • Central battery source – This kind of battery lasts anywhere between 5-25 years dependent on type, the maintenance is easier than the self contained battery due to only needing access to one location, and can operate in a range of temperatures.
Emergency Lighting

There are many important reasons why emergency lighting is crucial to a safe working environment, so we have compiled a list of how a well-designed lighting system saves lives:

  1. Instant effect

    As the lighting is constantly lit due to its battery powered system, the effects are immediate so that there is no initial confusion, or waiting for the lights to come back on.
  2. Help fire responders

    When fire responders enter a building, the majority of the time they won’t be familiar with the layout of the building, and so emergency lighting will help them reach their target. The lights will give them clarity of the safest route to take and reach those in need of assistance.
  3. Minimise panic

    With a well lit exit route in place, it will be clear to the building’s occupants that they will need to follow the exit lights in order to escape the building. A panic initiated by darkness and smoke-filled corridors can cause stampedes, confusion, and can lead to more injuries – even death. Giving people a clear chance to identify a means of escape will allow them to exit the building in a timely and sensible manner.

Cheshire Fire are dedicated to educating the community on fire safety, along with providing a wide range of fire safety equipment and services to domestic and commercial clients throughout the Cheshire area. For more information on safety features and emergency lighting, contact us today!