When constructing a building, many things need to be taken into consideration or you’ll end up with problems on your hands. And potentially lawsuits.
Whether its alarms, fire sprinkler systems or smoke detectors, there are many safety measures that should go into a building’s construction.
Perhaps lower on peoples’ minds, though, is emergency lighting. Highly important during an emergency, this building element should be carefully considered instead of ignored.
Depending on the situation, emergency lighting may be the difference between life and death, as this lighting may be required for an orderly evacuation.
Even if the situation doesn’t involve an emergency, power outages alone can cause chaos, so planning ahead is a must.
If you need help choosing a lighting system for your building, here are four things you should consider.
1. Know Your Local Codes
The implementation and requirements relating to backup power are governed by local codes. Whether you’re a business owner or simply handling a building’s construction, you need to know these codes and ensure they’re properly implemented.
Certain rules will govern the size of the building in question and there may also be guidelines for where lighting needs to be placed. It is beneficial to have emergency lighting placed throughout the entire building.
2. You Don’t Need Complete Lighting
When the power goes out or an emergency hits, you don’t need to have the same lighting you do on a regular basis. 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.
Consider the minimal amount of lighting you can use to get the job done and go with that. But in doing this, make sure you’re following codes.
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 most need to be lit. For example, an auditorium will likely need lighting more than a bathroom.
You want to be as efficient as possible, so aim to use the fewest number of lights you can while still providing adequate lighting for all who may be in the building.
4. There Are Different Types of Emergency Lighting
Several options exist when implementing lighting for emergencies. One thing to consider is the placement of your lights.
Horizontal lights may send light farther but you may have less shadowing if you choose to install overhead lights. The size and orientation of the rooms in question will likely help you decide.
Exit signs should be included in your emergency lights and should be placed wherever applicable. These will be especially helpful to those who are unfamiliar with the building.
Besides different placements, there are different types of lighting as well. Research your options to figure out what’s best for the building you’re working on.
Maintained lights utilize the same lights that are used 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.
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 orderly evacuation and will aid in times of power outages as well as 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.