When constructing a building, there are many concerns that need to be taken into consideration. Otherwise, as a building or property owner, you can end up with serious problems on your hands, from safety concerns to potential lawsuits.
Whether it’s alarms, fire sprinkler systems, or smoke detectors, there are many safety measures that should be considered during the construction process.
Also among these is emergency lighting. Perhaps lower on people’s minds, emergency lighting remains just as important as any other safety mechanism during an emergency event. This crucial building element should be carefully considered during the design stages of your building construction.
Emergency lighting can become critical to ensuring an orderly evacuation during an emergency event and in the most extreme cases, could make the difference between life and death. An illuminated exit can guide you to safety.
Keep in mind, even if the situation doesn’t involve an emergency, power outages alone can still plunge your property into darkness and cause chaos, so planning ahead is a must.
If you’re in the process of choosing a lighting system for your building, here are four things you should consider.
1. Know Your Local Codes
The implementation of backup power and the related requirements of this power supply are governed by local codes. Whether you’re a business owner or you’re overseeing a building’s construction, you’ll need to know these codes to ensure they’re properly observed.
Certain rules will become applicable depending on the size of the building in question. There may also be guidelines for where lighting specifically needs to be placed, but remember it’s beneficial to have emergency lighting located throughout the entire building (in addition to the mandated locations).
2. You Don’t Need Complete Lighting
When the power goes out or an emergency hits, you don’t need to have as much lighting as you do on a regular basis. That’s to say: your emergency lighting system does not need to be as “complete” as the lighting you use to illuminate your entire property. You simply need enough lighting to help those in the building exit in a safe and orderly fashion and to help first responders find required equipment and missing people.
3. Only Power Critical Lights
Though on a daily basis you’ll want to light your entire building, this isn’t needed in an emergency. Consider which areas of the building need the most illumination so you know where to direct resource principally. For example, an auditorium will likely need lighting more than a bathroom.
4. There Are Different Types of Emergency Lighting
Several options exist when implementing lighting for emergencies. When selecting a type, one factor to consider is the placement of your lights.
Horizontal lights will send light farther, but you’ll have less shadowing if you choose to install overhead lights. The size and orientation of the rooms in question will likely help you decide which is best.
Exit signs should be included in your emergency lighting system and should be placed wherever applicable. These will be especially helpful to those who are unfamiliar with the building if an emergency occurs.
Besides different placements, another factor that differentiates lighting types regards their method of power.
Maintained lights utilize the same lights that are used in your building on a daily basis, but in an emergency or outage, they’ll be powered by a backup power source. Non-maintained lights are lights that are not used regularly and will only turn on in an emergency. Research your options to figure out what’s best for the building you’re working on.
Various other types exist and should be thoroughly considered.
Emergency lighting has been required since the 1920s and makes a huge difference when an emergency occurs. Take the time to get familiar with your options and don’t delay implementing your choices.
Light is essential to an orderly evacuation and will aid in times of power outages and emergencies. Whether you plan to build, are currently building, or neglected to implement this lighting in your current building, don’t wait to move toward implementation.
For more safety-related information, contact us today.