In Australia, there are standard system design, installation, and operation requirements for emergency escape lighting and exit signs for buildings. These requirements are dictated by the AS 2293.1.
The AS 2293.1 is an Australian standard that has been created, and continuously updated, with intention of ensuring an acceptable level of illumination to the nominated areas for the safe evacuation of occupants from those spaces in an emergency situation.
At Jim’s Test & Tag, we conduct emergency light maintenance according to the second part of this standard – the AS 2293.2 standard for inspection and maintenance. There is a third part of the standard which sets out the requirements for emergency and exit light manufacturers.
If your business operates out of a building, you need to make sure your emergency lighting meets the Australian standard. You can purchase a copy of the guide from Standards Australia, or contact the Building Code of Australia. We’ve included some key parts of the standard below for your reference.
Emergency Escape Lighting Requirements
Section 5 of the AS 2293.1 outlines the design of emergency escape luminaire installation. When installing luminaires in a commercial building, the following points must be considered: (please note, these are only extracts from the standard, please refer to the full document for a comprehensive installation guide)
- A single emergency escape light must never serve an area greater than 500m2
- Surfaces around the emergency lighting should be coloured in the lightest tone possible (light tones are more reflective and will enhance the visibility of the light)
- Consider the effects of smoke in an emergency environment and install your lighting accordingly.
- An internally illuminated exit sign can be used as both an emergency escape luminaire and as exit signage (as long as it meets all the standard requirements).
- To verify accordance with the AS 2293.1 standard, each emergency backup light needs an identification symbol marked on the body of the light.
- If your emergency light does not have this symbol, it needs to be applied immediately adjacent to it.
- Each light needs to be installed in a place where the light is not obstructed. For example, make sure there aren’t any beams or architectural features in the way.
- The standard also has a section on the prevention of the removal of emergency exit light bulbs. You need to make sure that if the light is mounted in a public area at a height under 2.4m, there must be a wire guard or non-removable lamp installed.
Indirect Lighting Systems
When the standard mentions indirect lighting systems, it is referring to lighting that is aimed at the ceiling and then reflected back down into the space. This kind of lighting can often be found in offices, retail environments, and education buildings. If your building has an indirect system, your emergency escape lighting needs to be installed in consideration of the existing luminaires to ensure the level of light provided by the emergency system meets the standard requirements.
Direct Lighting Systems
This term usually refers to light that comes from down from the ceiling and lights the room from above. This type of lighting system distributes the majority of its focus directly on the surface to be lit. You can find direct lighting systems in almost any commercial, industrial, or domestic environment. If your building utilises direct lighting, there are a number of specific installation requirements you must adhere to. These are outlined in the AS 2293.1 standard.
If you’ve ever wondered why exit signs look the way they do, the standard has a whole appendix dedicated to the visual details of exit signs. Each sign must contain the right pictorial elements, borders, and backgrounds in order to meet the Australian requirements. The signs need to be the same green colour that is used in the pictorial elements. This universal colouring helps occupants in your building easily identify exit paths.
Emergency Escape Lighting Maintenance
At Jim’s Test & Tag, we test and inspect lighting systems for businesses according to the current Australian safety standards. After you have ensured that your lighting meets the installation guidelines, ask one of our professional team members to visit your building and maintain your system. We’ll perform a discharge test to ensure emergency exit light battery parts are working and eliminate any faulty equipment. We also supply and replace bulbs.
Need help with the emergency luminaires in your building? Contact us on 131 546 or fill in the online form for a FREE QUOTE.