You have probably seen films where some serious sounding person in uniform says “Switching to emergency power.” At this point, back up systems are switched on to deal with some alien threat. However, you don’t need to be in a disaster movie to know the benefit of emergency lighting.
Problems with power can occur for a number of different reasons. It can be because of a blackout, problems with equipment or in the event of a fire. If there isn’t any backup system available then there is the danger that people will have to find their way out in the darkness, naturally, this can make people panic.
It may seem simple but if you have well-lit corridors people are more likely to be calm and able to listen and follow safety instructions efficiently. Plus, they are able to literally follow the light as it illuminates the path to safety.
There are two main types of lighting, maintained and non-maintained. Non-maintained refers to lighting such as emergency exit signs that are placed in an area people are familiar with and only switch on in an emergency. Maintained lighting is useful because it can also double up as regular everyday lighting as well. Typically this type of maintained lighting is used in public places like shopping centres and cinemas.
Types of emergency lighting include:
- Recessed exit ceiling light – A recessed exit ceiling light is always on and comes with a 3-hour battery back up. In an emergency, these are crucial as they highlight where to find emergency exits.
- Economy bulkhead lights – Economy bulkhead lights are popular because they are relatively inexpensive while also being sealed from dust and dirt so you do not have to worry about cleaning them. These come in both maintained and non-maintained versions.
- Emergency twin lights – Part of an exit strategy is having some form of meeting place. Emergency twin lights are activated in an emergency and are ideal for highlighting areas that people need to get to.
- Low energy maintained downlight – As the name suggests a low energy maintained downlight uses less energy than standard variants. These are used as normal light sources but if the power goes down these will keep running for three hours, giving people enough time to evacuate and helping to maintain calm.
It is easy to be cynical about these things as another aspect of health and safety. But little things like this can make a difference and can help people focus in an emergency. Furthermore, these products are relatively inexpensive and easy to maintain so you do not have to worry about constantly calling up technicians or continually replacing bulbs. A little investment in the short term can help you out a lot in the long term so it is worth looking at the options available to you and what is most appropriate for your personal and business needs.
It’s also important to remember that you need to have your emergency lighting regularly serviced by an engineer, as well as carrying out weekly testing of the system yourself to ensure the lights activate when the mains power supply is lost.