Emergency Lighting

Emergency lighting systems for workplace safety

When fires, floods, accidents or disasters strike, emergency lighting can save lives. Typical emergency lighting systems found in industrial facilities include multiple elements, and they are normally outfitted with at least two power sources – a standard and a backup – to ensure they can continue to function even in dire circumstances.

Regulations for Emergency Lighting Design

While the specifics will depend on your jurisdiction, all U.S. states and Canadian provinces have legal requirements in place that compel businesses to install emergency lighting systems. These requirements cover both lighting and fire alarm systems, and are generally dependent on the design characteristics of the building in question.

Generally speaking, however, a six-point system is used to determine what emergency lighting and fire safety measures are necessary for a given workplace. These points include:

  1. Identifying potential fire or flood hazards.
  2. Identifying the location of the people who would be at the greatest risk if a fire or flood occurred in those areas.
  3. Evaluating the risk of a fire or flood occurring.
  4. Compelling the building owner or manager to make any necessary improvements.
  5. Making a record of these improvements and all other actions taken to improve workplace safety.
  6. Instituting ongoing reviews of the job site and commanding further changes if necessary.

Customize an Emergency Lighting System for Your Workplace

While local regulations regarding fire safety and emergency lighting will provide you with significant guidance as you design an acceptable system for your workplace, you should also keep some practical matters in mind as you plan. First, note the location of any backup power generators used in your facility. Your emergency lighting system must connect to them so it will continue to function in the event of a power outage. If your place of business doesn't have its own power generators, you'll need to make sure your system can be powered by an emergency lighting battery if need be.

You should familiarize yourself with the different types of systems available and the various elements that comprise them. Central systems provide excellent reliability, and you'll need to place remote fixtures strategically so they provide safety without interfering with existing lighting. While optional accessories like wire guards, inverters, real-time network management systems and automatic diagnostics boards may seem unnecessary, you should add the ones you need anyway – after all, you can't put a price on the safety of your workers.

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