In the world of safety and security, there are a few unsung heroes that often go unnoticed until the need arises. Fire alarms and emergency lighting systems are among them. They are meticulously designed and installed to protect not only property but, more importantly, the lives of those who occupy the spaces they safeguard.
These systems serve as early warning mechanisms during fires or power outages, offering the occupants of a building the precious time they need to evacuate safely. To ensure their effectiveness, we must be able to rely on these systems when they are needed most. In this blog post, we will address common questions and concerns regarding smoke alarms and emergency lighting.
What to Do When Your Fire Alarm Beeps
That unmistakable high-pitched beep of a fire alarm is often your first indication that something is amiss. When you hear this sound, the first step is to press and hold the ‘test’ or ‘silence’ button, which should temporarily silence the alarm. However, if the beeping persists, it signifies that the current battery is running low. To replace the battery, grasp the alarm unit and turn it counterclockwise to detach it from its base, exposing the battery compartment. Once open, remove the old battery and insert a fresh one. This action should stop the beeping until the new battery requires replacement.
Understanding the Latest Fire and Smoke Alarm Regulations
Government regulations mandate that a minimum of one fire alarm must be installed on each floor designated for living accommodations. Fire alarms should be fixed to the ceiling in common circulation areas like hallways or landings. These regulations are in place to ensure the utmost safety for everyone within the premises. British Standards recommend Fire Alarm Testing should be carried out at least twice per year and we test and inspect fixed Fire Alarm Systems according to British Standard 5839-1.
Rules for Emergency Lighting
Emergency lighting systems play a crucial role in maintaining visibility and safety during power outages, especially in buildings where immediate evacuation might be difficult, such as hotels where people sleep. According to regulations, emergency escape lighting must remain operational for at least three hours in such locations. This extended operation ensures that occupants can safely navigate their way out of the building even during prolonged power outages.
The Importance of Proper Emergency Lighting Installation
The proper installation of emergency lighting systems is of paramount importance and must adhere to strict rules and regulations. Hiring a trained and qualified electrician is the key to ensuring that your emergency lighting is installed correctly and in accordance with official procedures. This approach not only guarantees the system’s effectiveness but also prevents potential legal issues and fines stemming from non-compliance with regulations.
Emergency Lighting Testing Requirements
As a general rule, your emergency lighting needs to be checked monthly and annually. The main benefit of emergency light testing is to make sure everyone in your building is safe during an emergency.
- A brief emergency lighting test, at least once per month should be undertaken, with a monthly record of all tests kept, and all faults reported.
- You should also have a full, 3-hour emergency lighting test once a year. Your primary light circuit switched off and your emergency lights left on for three hours in line with BS 5266-1:2016. Any defects should be reported and issues fixed.
Types of Emergency Lighting
Emergency lighting falls into four distinct categories, each with its own unique purpose:
Escape Route Lighting: This lighting guides occupants along designated escape routes to safety during an emergency.
Open Area Emergency Lighting: Designed to illuminate large open spaces, ensuring that individuals can safely navigate and assemble in the event of an evacuation.
High-Risk Task Area Lighting: Focused lighting to facilitate safe evacuation from high-risk areas, such as laboratories or industrial facilities.
Standby Lighting: Provides an alternative power source during an outage, ensuring that essential functions can continue without interruption.
How TECC Ltd. Can Assist
The Electrical Compliance Collective Ltd (TECC) is a registered NICEIC-approved electrical contractor with expertise spanning the domestic, commercial, and industrial sectors. At TECC Ltd., our primary concern is the safety of businesses and families alike.
We offer a comprehensive range of services for fire alarms and emergency lighting installation tailored to various property requirements, including:
Commercial and Industrial Properties: Safeguarding workplaces and manufacturing facilities.
Rental Properties: Ensuring the safety of tenants in residential buildings.
Domestic Properties: Protecting the homes and families of our clients.
If you require assistance with the installation and maintenance of fire alarms and emergency lighting systems on your property, do not hesitate to reach out. The expert team at TECC Ltd. is eager to help and is dedicated to enhancing safety and peace of mind.