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Essential Emergency Lighting

Designing An Emergency Lighting System: Part 4

Essential Emergency Lighting Locations
Essential Emergency Lighting Locations

There are several essential areas that require emergency lighting that you will have to pay attention to when you are completing you emergency lighting plan.

Such areas are not located on the emergency escape route but are places that could be in use when power fails or a fire occurs. These places require lighting because there are potential safety risks involved if they are not adequately lit.

Some of the following areas are specifically mentioned in British Standard 5266-1 (marked with an asterisk), others should be seriously considered for inclusion in your emergency lighting system.

Lift Cars*

These should not for part of an escape route but staff or members of the public could become trapped inside in the event of power failure.


Any disabled facilities or toilet blocks exceeding 8m2 floor space require emergency lights.


In the event that an escalator stops suddenly due to power failure, anybody currently using then needs to be able to exit the escalator stairway safely.

Covered Car Parks*

Normal pedestrian routes should be equipped with non-maintained emergency lighting with at least a one hour duration.

Generator/Control/Plant Rooms*

Battery powered emergency lights are necessary as personnel may need to access this type of room to fix machinery or equipment.


If the power fails while kitchen facilities are being used there are several potentially dangerous situations. Staff could spill hot liquid or food and hobs/ovens need to be switched off easily so they do not start working again unexpectedly.

First Aid Stations

If treatment is currently being given or first aid supplies are urgently required it is best to light first aid rooms with some form of emergency lighting.

Disabled Refuge Areas

Disabled people could be kept in refuge areas for some time before they are evacuated by emergency personnel. They need to be able to see clearly for safety.

Fire Equipment

Light must be sufficient to read fire control panel displays and take any actions necessary.

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