Emergency Lighting

Emergency lighting is nominated by the building surveyor/ building certifier to be provided in buildings to ensure the protection of the occupants in the event of a power failure especially during a fire. Emergency lighting as an essential safety measure must provide adequate lighting for the identification of exits, paths of travel and obstructions in the pathway.

Building Code of Australia

The Building Code of Australia requires emergency lighting to be installed in every fire-isolated stairway, fire-isolated ramp, fire-isolated passageway and egress passage. Also emergency lighting is to be installed in every storey having a floor area of more than 300 sqm in a class 5 (offices), 6 (shops), 7 (warehouse), 8 (factories) and 9 (public buildings) under a building approval. The BCA contains many other provisions relative to the placement of emergency lighting.

Clause E4.4 Design and operation of emergency lighting requires emergency lighting to be installed in accordance with AS 2293.1-2005 Emergency escape lighting and exit signs for buildings – System design, installation and operation.

The following illustration depicts the provisions relevant for the illustration of emergency lighting in a building.

The following is a part extract of Clause I1.1 for an Essential Safety Measure (as appeared in BCA 2013) known as emergency lighting:

Safety Measures BCA Provision for Determining Standard of Performance
Emergency lighting E4.2, E4.4

Essential Safety Measures Audit – Air Conditioning Systems

An essential safety measures auditor should be aware of the emergency lighting provisions in AS/NZS 2293.2:1995 Emergency evacuation lighting for buildings – Inspection and maintenance.  The auditor should check the building surveyors/ certifier’s essential safety measures schedule/ determination to see if emergency lighting is nominated.  If so the auditor should assess the on-site emergency lighting logbook which records the electrical contractor’s inspection and maintenance routine.  Illegal building alterations generally render emergency lighting ineffective.  These illegal building works affecting emergency lighting should be highlighted in the essential safety measures logbook to allow for signing the Annual Statement, Annual Certificate of Compliance, Annual Fire Safety Statement, Annual Maintenance Statement and Annual Occupiers Statement.