Posted: 5 May 2020
Posted: 5 May 2020
Sylvania looks at the role of compliance and reliance in emergency lighting systems
Today’s working environments, whatever their nature, are highly regulated and this regulation extends to the need for emergency lighting as part of a building’s infrastructure. This is a necessity. The creation of a safe, working environment enables workers to carry out their role confident in the knowledge that they do so in a secure setting. In fact, an emergency lighting system is not only a legal obligation but a moral one too. Despite this, a quick search of the relevant trade press shows that emergency lighting can all too often be an overlooked part of a facility’s lighting infrastructure. This is a serious mistake.
Can any business really ever be confident that an emergency situation will never arise? These emergencies can arrive in many different forms and it’s certainly not a case of being a harbinger of doom – something as mundane as a power cut will trigger the need for emergency back-up lighting. Whether it’s the need to direct people to emergency exits to evacuate a building quickly and safely, or ensuring working areas remaining lighted in an electrical outage, any organisation needs to be able to fully rely on its emergency lighting.
So what constitutes an effective emergency lighting system? Quality and reliability will always be key desirables. Products need to meet the relevant European and country specific standards, so partnering with solutions-providers with pan-European capability delivers an advantage. For example, there are significant differences in battery duration requirements: the European minimum is for one hour but in the UK this rises to three hours. As ever, awareness is essential to remaining compliant.
Testing emergency lighting systems on a regular basis can also be challenging, especially within large storage or logistics facilities with their ever increasing square footage of floor area that must be continuously and adequately lighted and signposted. Keeping on top of seemingly simple maintenance such as replacing broken or faulty lamps or fully charging batteries, becomes increasingly problematic as operations grow in size and any downtime has a disproportionate impact on productivity. This is where automation can have a significant impact. Automated testing of emergency lighting infrastructure simplifies the procedure, removes the likelihood of human error and makes the process more comprehensive, meaning those hard to reach places are no longer last on the list for checking. It also has a desirable effect on costs too. Advances in lighting automation, such as smart control systems that enable estate-wide remote emergency system monitoring, are playing a vital role in identifying maintenance needs quickly to reduce downtime and lower maintenance costs.
Finally, while compliance is essential, it is only one part of the wider emergency lighting equation. All businesses are looking for ways to drive down costs, maximize uptime and increase productivity. Re-evaluating emergency lighting is one way to achieve this. An LED emergency system is far more energy efficient and robust than its halogen or incandescent equivalent, and requires less maintenance – qualities that are particularly appealing for safety applications.
To find out more about emergency lighting in the logistics and industry sector, have a read of our eBook, ‘What’s Hanging over Your Head?’.