Installing a fit-for-purpose emergency lighting system

In this ‘Q&A’-style article, Martin Green, Commercial Training and Support manager at Hochiki Europe, discusses some of the key questions that health estates and facilities teams, hospital building owners, and responsible persons within the healthcare sector, need to ask to ensure the safe and compliant installation of emergency lighting.

The questions I will ask and look to answer in this article do not form an exhaustive list, but will, I hope, cover some of the important aspects that electrical engineers, fire system installers, designers, and building contractors working in the healthcare sector should be aware of to ensure a safe and compliant life safety installation. 

What is emergency lighting, and where is it required?

Emergency lighting is lighting that automatically comes into operation when the mains power supply to the normal lighting fails, for example during a power cut in a hospital or other healthcare facility, or when a lighting circuit breaker has tripped. This specialist lighting is required wherever the public has access to a building, or where people are employed. The list of such locations is extensive, and includes premises such as healthcare and educational buildings, all communal areas of residential blocks – such as stairwells, corridors, and shared facilities, travel hubs such as railway stations, ferry ports and airport terminals, multi-storey car parks, leisure centres, pubs, theatres, shops, restaurants, offices, factories, warehouses, and even places of worship. Normally, a private dwelling within a house of multiple occupancy, or an individual home, where the general public do not have access, does not require emergency lighting. 

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