In a fire situation, electric power to the building is usually cut. Occupants rely on emergency escape lights and illuminated exit signs to safely and quickly find their way out of danger.
Without working emergency escape lights, the interior of the building may be too dark for occupants navigate around furniture and other office equipment.
Without working illuminated exit signs, occupants may be lost trying to find an escape route.
These lights must work long enough after power has been lost for all occupants to safely exit the building.
When you enter a building, do you notice the exit signs? Are they lighted up? Will they continue to light up when there is a power failure?
Have you experienced a power failure in your building? If there is an actual power failure, have you ever wondered if the whole place will fall pitch black or will there be sufficient illumination so that you can still see ahead of you and move around safely towards the exit.
Emergency lighting system are suppose to work and they must!
Too often, too little attention is paid towards ensuring emergency lighting system continue to work after initial installation. Too much attention is focus towards installing lights that carry the certification sticker.
In Singapore and for many years, audits carried out annually by the authority (Singapore Civil Defense Force – SCDF) regularly flag emergency lighting system not working as the highest occurring non-compliance item. And yet, the solution seems to be to changed out the faulty lights and not focus on the root cause, which is the lack of a regular inspection and test regime.
Test button or test switch
All emergency escape lights and illuminated exit lights come with a test button. In some jurisdiction, there is a requirement to install a test switch within the occupied space in lieu of the test button. The idea is that this button or switch must be used regularly for testing purpose.
How many of you have tried to test the button only to find that the exit light actually switches offÂ when the button is pressed? The batteries are dead!!!