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Maintained emergency lights stay on constantly at all times and stay lit for the minimum emergency duration (usually 3 hours) after a mains failure. Maintained emergency escape lights are used in places of assembly like theatres, cinemas, entertainment halls but also shopping centres and similar venues. They allow the public to familiarise themselves with emergency routes and have the advantage that any failure of the emergency lighting bulbs can be spotted immediately. Number of positions - this can typically range anywhere between 1-6 positions, giving you full control over how many different states and potential functions the key switch is able to differentiate between as it’s turned. Special consideration should be given to homes for the elderly, hospitals, crowded areas such as pubs, discos and supermarkets and to whether or not the premises are residential. Single occupancy houses and houses of multiple occupancy up to two storeys high only need conventional lighting, whereas three and four storeys may require emergency escape lighting if the escape route is complex and there is no effective borrowed light.

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Toilet facilities for use by disabled people and/or any multiple closet facilities without borrowed light should have emergency escape illumination from at least one luminaire. Organisations may have to provide emergency escape lighting in each cubicle if there is no borrowed light. What are the rules for rented properties? A non-maintained emergency light will only light up in the event of a mains power failure and will also stay lit for the minimum emergency duration required. Non-maintained emergency lights are likely to be found in offices, shops andfactories. There are guidelines to help understand the provision requiredand landlords need to be aware of their responsibilities to carry out a fire risk assessment, and make sure their property has adequate and appropriate fire safety measures in place. How do you maint ain emergency lighting?It's swings and roundabouts in the building as some areas the key switch shuts off the power to the lights (per room, location) and illuminates the EL. The new refurbished areas the key switch does not cut power to the lights, and with some EL units being part of the main lights this poses a problem to actually see if they are working or not. Yes they have green LEDs in them but you have to look closely to see if they are actually coming on as required. In my humble opinion the switch should be of "simulation" status IE cutting power (as it would if in a power cut, fire, etc.) and illuminating EL only. An emergency lighting system should be installed by an electrician who specialises in emergency lighting.

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Borrowed lighting may be suitable in small premises (eg small shops) where there is light coming into the building from a dependable outside source, e.g. street lamps and will adequately illuminate escape routes. Alternatively, single ‘stand-alone’ escape lighting units may be sufficient in small premises and these can sometimes be combined with exit or directional signs. British Standard BS 5266-1: 2011 provides clear guidelines about the design and installation of emergency lighting. It should be remembered that the British Standards specify the best practice for standard situations, however, a higher standard may be required for a particular installation.As a school is only occupied during the hours of daylight, emergency lighting is not therefore required. However, should the school be used out of hours, in the hall for example, then emergency lighting should be installed in the hall and the exit routes from it. The ‘responsible person’ should have the final say on this and might want to consult the local fire officer.

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All emergency lighting systems must be tested monthly. The test is a short functional test in accordance with BS EN 50172:2004 / BS 5266-8:2004. A test for the full duration (usually three hours) of the emergency lights must be carried out once a year. The emergency lights must still be working at the end of this test. The result must be recorded and, if failures are detected, these must be remedied as soon as possible. If sufficient open area emergency lighting is in the vicinity of a fire exit, non-illuminated fire exit signs can be sufficient in locations of minor importance. Photo-luminescent fire exit signs would be preferable in this case, although it has to be ensured that sufficient light is reaching the photo-luminescent sign to ensure it is ‘charged’ at all times. ConsiderationsThey would need to be conversant with BS 5266-1- 2011 Emergency lighting-Part 1: Code of practice for emergency lighting of premises. First floor has a conference room, dining area, servery and kitchen with adjourning conveniences, 11 rooms (classroom or meeting/training rooms), 5 office rooms and 3 sets of conveniences. At the moment the only areas in use are reception and workshops/classrooms on ground floor (which are the areas refurbed). As I understand it the EL light units that (should) have LEDs on them, the LEDs are illuminated when in normal 'charging' mode but go out when in EL mode?

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Yes if you are testing/servicing on the discharge test then no lights would be a problem for persons working in those areas and so this would need doing when unoccupied - so I can see the logic behind the key switches not shutting off power - but that would only be for green LEDs and not red LEDs that would be difficult to visually see - similar if 3 tube lighting is working and one of the tubes is the EL light you wouldn't know if that EL unit was working if the main lights are still being powered... Now the refurbishment on the ground floor seems to be wired up in the 'new' way - does not extinguish power to mains.Two, three or four storey houses converted to self-contained flats require conventional lighting and emergency escape lighting if the f ire risk assessment requires it. From a practical point of view, a normal caretaker would be able to use a test key to remove power from emergency lights and ensure that the emergency lights stay on the required period. When it comes to repair of failing emergency lights it would most likely that an electrician would be needed unless the caretaker has sufficient qualifications to replace batteries and lamps.

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