Emergency lighting is crucial for safety in many settings, from commercial buildings and industrial facilities to shared residential spaces. Understanding its purpose, your legal responsibilities and how to strategically install emergency lights are all essential steps to prioritise your building’s safety precautions.

Here’s everything you need to know in our guide to emergency lighting installations.

What is emergency lighting?

Emergency lighting provides visibility during power outages, fires and other emergencies. It ensures the safe evacuation of occupants and the continued operation of essential functions when the primary source of lighting fails.

This type of lighting system plays a critical role in guiding people to safety, preventing panic, and facilitating evacuation measures during unforeseen situations. Emergency lights typically operate on batteries or generators, remaining on for several hours.

What are the different types of emergency lighting?

There are several types of emergency lighting systems, each serving a specific purpose. One of the most essential systems is escape route lighting, strategically placed to illuminate clear exit paths, corridors and stairwells.

Other types of emergency lighting include standby lighting, installed where a sudden loss of light could be hazardous, such as in hospitals, laboratories or server rooms, activating automatically if the main power source fails. High-risk area lighting is also used in settings where certain tasks require ongoing visibility, like operating rooms or industrial workspaces.

Open area emergency lighting can also be used to minimise panic, offering a low level of background illumination to ensure occupants can move safely and comfortably.

Is emergency lighting a legal requirement?

In the UK, emergency lighting is subject to legal requirements and regulations, which vary depending on the type of building.

This type of lighting system is covered by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, which outlines how emergency exits and routes must have adequate emergency lights in the event of a power failure during a fire.

Compliance with these regulations not only ensures the safety of building occupants but also mitigates potential legal issues.

Where should you install emergency lights?

Emergency lighting installations should be well-planned to maximise safety in buildings such as offices, hospitals, shops, multi-storey dwellings, clubs, entertainment venues and hotels. Key locations for installing emergency lights include escape routes, covering corridors, staircases (and other trip hazards) and exit doors, guiding occupants safely to the outdoors.

Illuminated exit signs are vital to help people locate emergency exits during power failures or smoke-filled environments. You should install emergency lights in areas where escape routes intersect or change direction to prevent confusion and ensure a smooth evacuation. Exterior emergency lighting can also point people to assembly points or away from the building during an evacuation.

Other good spots for emergency light installations include first aid equipment points, fire alarm triggers, fire safety equipment (e.g., extinguishers), lifts, power supplies, escape route signage, floor level changes, windowless rooms and near equipment that needs turning off during an emergency.

Need a lighting expert? Call our team

If you need an emergency lighting installation, please contact DTEEC today. We operate across London and Surrey locations such as Leatherhead and Oxshott.

For a free lighting quote, speak to our team.