Emergency, News

Emergency lighting standard updated to be more human

The updated code of practice for the emergency lighting of premises now takes more account of human behaviour.

The UK only code of practice for the emergency lighting of premises (BS5266) has been updated to adapt to human behaviour and the impact of new technology.  

The reworded standard puts the onus on designers to include sufficient emergency lighting for occupants, should the decision be made that people can stay on site during a light outage.

Adequate ‘stay put’ lighting is defined by the code as a one lux minimum in areas of a building that people will be moving through.

The code also outlines the importance of emergency lighting in horizontal evacuation procedures. These often occur in hospitals when some staff stay behind during an evacuation to restart services.

This is the first time that the code of practice for emergency lighting has been updated since 2011.

For the first time ‘borrowed light’ is also defined by the code, which is the use of a second exterior source of lighting during a power outage.

“If people are going to rely on street lights as a source of ‘borrowed light’ during an emergency, then they have to be aware of the likelihood that street lights may be turned off, as some authorities are making street lighting non-operational during off-peak hours,” standards expert Alan Daniels from P4 Fastel commented during Lux’s Lighting for Rail Conference in London.

The updated code focuses on LED’s suitability for emergency lighting installations and commends the technology’s ability to mazimise controllable light output and produce a lower residual emergency lighting load.

Emergency LEDs can be fitted into smaller enclosures or alongside fluorescent luminaires to create more aesthetically pleasing emergency lighting.

You can find out more about emergency lighting at this year’s LuxLive. The event will include Escape Zone, an emergency lighting summit, which will involve seminars and tutorials on the subject.