Emergency, Feature, Residential

Grenfell: Focus on cladding ‘obscures emergency lighting’

Since the Grenfell Tower fire in June 2017, in which 72 residents lost their lives, the media and government spotlight has been on the failure of the cladding, clouding the importance of other technologies such as emergency lighting and fire detection systems. Pic: Copyright Natalie Oxford

THE MEDIA and government spotlight on the failure of the cladding in the Grenfell Tower fire is obscuring the importance of auto fire detection, emergency and escape lighting, a leading manufacturer claims.

Jason Horton, business manager at Tamlite Lighting, believes that the emergency elements of the Building Regulations ‘require a major overhaul’

Tamlite Lighting business manager Jason Horton says the government’s announcement that it will cover the cost of replacing the external cladding on 150 high-rise blocks is another example of a focus on cladding, when the fundamentals of emergency lighting need to be addressed.

‘We believe the Emergency Building regulations – which are coming up to 50 years old – require a major overhaul,’ says Horton.  ‘By way of an example; escape levels were based on the technical capabilities of luminaires developed in the 1970s. These regulations need to be updated and change is required across all aspects of fire safety.

‘But there has been insufficient attention on the need to address all aspects of fire safety including auto fire detection, emergency and escape lighting.

‘We would like to see significant fines, penalties, and in the most extreme cases prison sentences, for landlords of high-rise and larger scale buildings where safety standards are not met.

‘We regularly see examples in the media of private landlords being fined and facing prison sentences but often these individuals own/operate small apartments and buildings.

‘All in all, more must be done to deter any organisation or individual who fails to protect the lives of those living in its building.

‘The importance of emergency lighting cannot be understated; and it is crucial that those responsible for the refurbishment of high-rise tower blocks consider the wide-ranging elements of fire safety, as well as the vital external cladding on these buildings’.


  • Lux’s next free-to-attend Emergency Lighting Conference takes place in the Escape Zone at the LuxLive 2019 exhibition. The show takes place on Wednesday 13 November and Thursday 14 November 2018 at ExCeL London. Entry is free if you pre-register HERE.