Five Requirements for Emergency Lighting

Emergency lighting provides safety and guidance during power outages. It proves essential when natural disasters and catastrophic events cause panic, and people need to find safe exits. However, it is not enough to merely install emergency lighting in Lawrenceville, GA. You also need to know its requirements, and how to evacuate employees and customers. Here are five requirements to apply to emergency lighting:

  • Type: There is more than one type of emergency lighting. It includes fixtures, signage and route lighting. Requirements depend on the type of structure; a small bistro restaurant has different lighting requirements than a shopping mall or government building. Depending on the laws affecting your establishment, you may be fine with an illuminated exit sign, or you may need to light up walkways and install directional arrows. Local and state codes indicate the type of emergency lighting you need, and it may be a good idea to hire a consultant to ensure your lighting plan complies with the law.
  • Illumination time: Generally, emergency lighting in Lawrenceville, GA must remain illuminated for one and a half hours after power loss. For most situations, 90 minutes is long enough for employees and customers to find their way out of the building and move on. However, you might add more illumination time if your structure is larger or less accessible. Local fire codes indicate the number of required exits, so make sure all of them are illuminated with clear maps to exits throughout your building.
  • Accessibility: Consider accessibility when you set up emergency lighting. The Americans with Disabilities Act requires it, and you reduce potential liability. You may need to add time to areas with disabled access, as your disabled patrons may not be able to evacuate as quickly. Consider setting up handrails and audio warnings to accommodate sight-impaired customers—train personnel to keep a lookout for people struggling to find an exit or ambulate through a crowd. You do not want to risk leaving anyone behind in an emergency.
  • Testing: Emergency lighting needs testing. Most buildings require a monthly test where lights activate for 30 seconds. This test ensures the lights activate when needed. Every year, plan to illuminate lights for the full one and a half hours. When you install emergency lighting, you can choose traditional, self-testing and computer-based testing. Larger buildings benefit from automation, while small businesses may save money by selecting traditional systems and following a manual testing schedule and procedure.
  • Training: Show your lighting scheme to your employees. Run training sessions regarding evacuation and guiding patrons. In larger, potentially disorienting spaces like movie theaters, this step is essential, because people may panic in the darkness. Consider involving employees in monthly and annual testing, so they see what the lights look like before they face an emergency.

AAA Fire Protection Resources, Inc. can assess your emergency lighting in Lawrenceville, GA during a fire protection consultation. We can determine whether you meet regulatory requirements and minimize the risk of property damage and injury. Call us today to schedule an appointment, and improve your fire and safety plans.

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