The Checklist For Emergency And Exit Lighting Laws For The Office

Posted in: Electrical Tips for the Home

Emergency and exit lighting serve an important function, helping occupants of a building find exits quickly in the event of an emergency. If you manage a building, emergency and exit lighting laws might be required in your premises by law, so how do you know if you need them? And if you need to have them, what are the requirements?

Here’s a checklist of 16 things you need to check off to make sure your office is compliant and safe.

Does your office need emergency and exit lighting?

TheBuilding Code of Australia has detailed criteria for when you need emergency and exit lighting. The following includes a few to check off your list.

1. Is the floor area of the premises over 300m2?

If yes, you will probably need to have emergency and exit lighting installed in your building. If it’s not, the type of building it is (what class) may determine whether you need special emergency and exit lighting.

Emergency and exit lighting are designed to show occupants a quick way out of the building in the event of a fire or some other emergency. This means they need to be have an alternative power source so they work in the event of a blackout.

2. Does the door open out to a space with adequate natural light?

Emergency and exit lighting is required where an exit door from a room doesn’t open into a space with sufficient natural light.

3. Is the space a fire-isolated stairway, fire-isolated ramp, or fire-isolated passageway?

Yes. These areas in your building must have an emergency lighting system.

4. Does the class of the building require it to have emergency and exit lighting?

Every class 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 building where the storey has a floor area more than 300m2 needs to have emergency and exit lighting.

Emergency lighting in the office

5. Do your enclosed spaces have emergency lights?

The enclosed spaces in your building must have emergency lights.

6. Will the lights work when there’s a blackout?

These lights have to operate even if there’s a blackout. Check with an electrician to make sure your emergency lights will power on when the main electrical supply fails.

7. Is your building open to the general public?

Retail spaces, medical clinics, and other premises that receive members of the general public need to have emergency lighting.

Safety lighting required in an office

8. Do your building stairwells have safety lights?

All building stairwells need to have safety lights. Make sure you have adequate safety lighting installed throughout your stairwells.

9. Are your safety lights powered independently?

Like emergency lighting, your safety lights need to be powered so they still work in the event of a power failure.

10. Do your safety lights show the way clearly?

To be effective, your safety lights need to show the way from any spot through to the exits in your building.

Number of exits in an office

11. Are there at least two exits on each floor of your building?

As a general rule of thumb, you need to have at least two exits on each floor of your building. However, the optimal number of exits can vary depending on the size of your building, the number of occupants and how far you’re from the street.

12. Are your exits free from obstruction and do have a clear path?

All your exits should be free from obstruction and have a clear path so occupants can leave the building quickly in an emergency.

13. Are there signs indicating no obstruction?

Your exits should be clearly marked by signs warning people not to obstruct the doors.

Requirements for exit signs

14. Are your exit signs lit up all the time?

Your exit signs must be illuminated at all times.

15. Are all your emergency exits accompanied by an exit sign?

All your emergency exits need to be clearly marked by an illuminated exit sign.

16. Are your exit signs clearly visible at all times?

Your exit signs should be clearly visible at all time, within reason, wherever you are in the building.

Keeping your emergency and exit lighting in good order

No matter the size of your building, if you need to have working exit and emergency lights, you should have them serviced regularly. Work with an electrician to have them tested and maintained, and make sure you have them checked at least once every six months.

As the owner or manager of a building, it’s your responsibility to ensure the safety of employees and occupants. Something as simple as faulty emergency and exit lighting can be dangerous and risky for your staff or visitors if an emergency does arise. With regular checks, you’ll have peace of mind your occupants are safe and you’re meeting the compliance requirements.

Emergency and exit lighting is just one part of making sure your office electrics are in working order. To learn more about electrical safety in the workplace, read this handy guide. Make sure you also study up on how to check an office space is electrically safe before renting.

Platinum Electricians is a multi-award-winning electrical service provider dedicated to wowing our happy customers with outstanding five-star service. To ensure your lighting is adequate and you’re complying with emergency and exit lighting requirements, contact us to book an inspection and test today.