Open 8:30am to 4:30pm, Monday to Friday

Understanding the Latest Changes to the Emergency Lighting Standards

  • by chris basford
Understanding the Latest Changes to the Emergency Lighting Standards
Emergency lighting is an essential safety system that helps people evacuate a building in the case of unexpected situations, emergencies or hazards. Having a well illuminated space that shows the way to exits and open areas can also help to control panic, boost the security of your home or workplace, help the emergency services and enable shutdown procedures if the power fails. Recently, there have been several changes to the best practice for emergency lighting, which will impact the maintenance and any changes to existing emergency light installations. These changes refer specifically to British Standards BS EN 1838:2013 and BS EN 50172:2004 alongside the implementation of the Adaptive Emergency Escape Lighting Systems. This post will explore these changes and what they mean for your lighting systems.

What are the changes to BS EN 50172:2004?

The British standard BS EN 50172:2004 specifies the minimum level of emergency lighting in the form of safety signs and escape routes that is permitted, together with the testing requirements of these kinds of emergency lights for different premises. By following these standards, you can guarantee that there will be sufficient emergency lights available in the case of power failure for any reason and this will enable a safe evacuation from any building or premises. The most important change to this standard is with regard to the testing and inspection of the emergency lights and the emergency light systems. Previously, testing had to be carried out on a daily, weekly or yearly basis, but the new requirements state that a bi annual test of emergency lighting and safety signs must also be carried out. This testing will make sure that the lights are undamaged and that their function is not disrupted by dust, dirt or any damage. This will enhance the long term safety of your building and ensure the safety of its occupants.

What are the changes to BS EN 1838:2013?

BS EN 1838:2013 is the British lighting standard that applies to how much illumination (including colour, duration and luminescence) is to be provided by the emergency lighting. This should be determined by a risk assessment, and the new guidance states that the luminescence should be at least 1 Lux on any escape routes that are up to 2 meters in width and 0.5 Lux in any open areas that have a floor space greater than 60 meters (excluding an area of 0.5 meters around the perimeter). BS EN 1838:2013 also states that any local area safety lighting must last at least one hour in duration and that the escape route lighting (from the safety area to the exit) must have a duration of one hour or more. The change in this standard applies to both permanent and temporary emergency lighting and with any power source such as centrally powered lights, built in batteries or generator powered emergency illuminations.

Changes to BS EN1838 with regards to AEELS

AEELS stands for Adaptive Emergency Escape Lighting Systems, and the changes to BS EN1838 now state that these emergency systems must be used in every type of building. AEELS are the most advanced emergency lighting systems that will intuitively provide efficient and clear illumination and guide the occupants of a building to safety. They use sensors to monitor any changes in the atmosphere and environment and utilise intelligent technology to change the escape routes and modify how visible the emergency lighting and signs are. Using AEELS will increase the safety levels in buildings and make sure that occupants will be able to evacuate quickly, safely and efficiently.

What will the impact of these changes be?

Updating the British Standards will bring improvements to emergency lighting systems and help to protect people from harm in the case of emergencies or hazards. These changes need to be implemented alongside the Approved Document B which is part of the Building Regulations standards in England and Wales and in addition to the Building Standards regulations for use in Scotland. All these elements combined form a comprehensive framework which ensures the well-being and safety of occupants in buildings around the UK.

We Stock a Wide Range of Emergency Lighting

At LightHub Direct, we understand the importance of keeping your emergency lighting maintained and we stock a wide range of emergency lighting for use in the home and in business premises. Our range includes batten lighting, bulkhead emergency lighting, downlights, LED panel lights, maintained and non maintained emergency lighting, and emergency sensor lights. We also stock emergency fire exit signs in bulkhead and suspended formats. Please contact us today if you require any further assistance and our friendly and knowledgeable team can offer you help and support via our live chat system. We also offer free next day delivery on orders over £50 and free returns within 30 days if you need to change your order.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published