Emergency exit lights and signs are essential in just about all Australian businesses and buildings. They’re in most buildings and places we go in our day to day life. Shopping centers, apartment buildings, schools and offices all have them. These illuminated signs play a vital role should an emergency, such as a fire, arise. Day or night, thick smoke can make it extremely hard to see and illuminated exit signs are often the only indicator people have to find their way out of the crisis and reach safety.
Emergency exit signs are only useful if they are installed correctly and effectively, so let’s look at some tips for installing emergency exit lights. It’s also important that these lights are installed correctly to be compliant with the law.
#1 – Exit Lights Must Be Clearly Visible At All Times
For emergency exit lights to be effective in doing the job they are designed to do, they must be clearly visible at all times. This includes correct positioning of the lights when installation takes place, as well as ensuring that once installed, the lights are never impeded by obstacles of any kind. In other words, objects should never be placed in the vicinity of exit lights that may obscure their visibility.
Emergency exit lights are generally placed just above emergency exit doors that lead directly to the outside world or the fire escape stairwell.
#2 – Emergency Exit Lights Must Remain On At All Times
Emergency exit lighting will only be effective if the lights remain illuminated and only emergency lighting with battery backup should ever be installed. Without battery backup, the lights will not be illuminated if the power goes out due to a fire in the building.
Even during normal times, the very fact that the emergency lights are lit draws more attention to them. Consciously or unconsciously, people will know where the emergency exits are should they ever need to use them. When the interior of a building is plunged into darkness or is filled with smoke, illuminated signs can be the difference between life and death.
#3 – Exits and Non-Exits Must Be Clearly Indicated
There is more to the planning of the placement of emergency exit lights in larger buildings than simply installing exit lights on exits. For example, some doors could resemble an exit door, when in fact they are not. These doors need to be clearly marked as “No Exit” to avoid confusion and be marked as “Storage” or whatever the purpose is of the room beyond the door.
Also, in the event of buildings with hallways where those fleeing a fire need to turn corners to find the emergency exit doors, illuminated signage should be placed at the end of hallways that directs people in the right direction of the emergency exit.
Appropriate signage that’s well-positioned is vital to avoid any confusion and to save precious time in the evacuation process.
#4 – Exit Signs Must Be Installed By a Professional
Emergency exit lighting must be installed by an electrician who understands fire compliance and safety codes or a professional fire protection service. Lighting should never be installed by someone unqualified or unfamiliar with electrical work and compliance codes.
To ensure your emergency exit signs are installed correctly, safely, and are in compliance with Australian laws, only ever have them installed by an expert.
#5 – Seek the Advice of a Fire Protection Specialist
To truly formulate the best plan for the emergency exit lights for your building, enlist the advice and assistance of fire protection professionals. The company will be able to advise you on how many emergency exit lights you will need, appropriate placement of the signage, as well as performing or arranging the installation of the emergency exit lights.
A fire protection expert fully understands the requirements of the law and how to be compliant, so when you have your exit lighting strategy performed by an industry expert, you’ll have complete peace of mind that everything has been done correctly.
Illuminated emergency exit signage exists for a reason, and that’s for the safety of everyone within the building. Follow the tips and advice in this article to ensure your emergency exit lights are correctly positioned and installed.