Introducing Update guide to BS 5266 part 1 Ian Watts Emergency

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Update guide to BS 5266 part 1
Ian Watts
Emergency Lighting
Tuesday 26th August
Emergency Lighting Standards
Product Standard
Open Area Lighting BS5266
Pt 7:1999 (EN1838)
Escape Route Lighting
Fire Points BS5266
Pt 7:1999 (EN 1838)
Other Areas
(eg Lifts)
BS 5266-1
Signs Directive
HSE Guide
Central System
Product Standard
EN 50171
Maintained or non-,maintained
Duration of Luminaires (1 HR min)
BS 5266-1
Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order
In England and Wales the workplace directive is now
implemented by the Fire Safety Order which amends
or replaces 80 pieces of legislation, the most
significant being the repeal of the Fire Precautions
Act 1971 and the revocation of Fire Precautions
(workplace) Regulation 1997. Guides are on line at
The Order applies to the majority of premises and
workplaces. Broadly it does not apply to dwellings,
the underground parts of mines, anything that floats,
flies or runs on wheels, offshore installations, building
sites or the military.
Fire Safety Legislation
The user to has to perform a risk assessment for all
premises in which people are employed
If 5 or more people are employed there must be a
written record of the assessments findings and the
action taken.
If a fire certificate has been issued recently a risk
assessment is still required but few additional fire
precautions are likely to be needed
If the fire certificate was given according to an out-ofdate standard this must be addressed in the risk
The Responsible Person
The Responsible Person also known as the Duty
Holder in Scotland or Appropriate Person in Northern
Ireland must comply with the Legislation.
RESPONSIBLE PERSON is normally the employer
or any other person who may have control of part
of the premises.
It allows the Enforcing Authority to make sure that it is
enacted and sets penalties if it is not.
It requires the responsible person to carry out a Fire
Risk Assessment, produce a Policy, develop
Procedures, provide staff Training and Fire Drills.
The responsible person must provide and maintain
clear Means of Escape, Emergency Lighting,
Signs, Fire Detection, Alarm and Extinguishers.
The Signs Directive (in UK S.I. 341)
6. Depending on requirements, signs and signalling
devices must be regularly cleaned, maintained,
checked, repaired, and replaced.
8. Signs requiring some form of power must be
provided with a guaranteed supply.
Guidance is given in the document produced by the
Home Office.
 L 64 - A guide to safety signs.
 Additional information is given in fire safety
Other UK Requirements
Some workplaces require a licence from the Local
Authority. The Fire Authority may require higher levels
for premises Including –
Sale of alcohol
Music and dancing
Theatres and Cinemas
Sports stadia
Public entertainment
Some premises must be registered with the Local
Authority They also need to be accepted by the Fire
Authority Including –
Nursing Homes
Children's homes
Residential care homes Independent schools
COMPLIANCE WITH BS 5266 / EN 1838 is normally
deemed to comply but higher levels may be
required for specific applications.
UK Compliance with Legislation
Act of Parliament - Enforcement by courts
Government Departments.
- e.g. Department for Communities, provide guidance
Fire Authority & Building Control- Implement Laws
British Standards Institute –
Produces standards of best engineering practice by
consultation with all parties. If acceptable they are
called up in guidance documents as showing legal
compliance In addition B.S.I. tests products and
provides quality assurance inspections of production
Lighting standards structure chart
Application Standards
Code of practice BS 5266 pt1:2011
Lighting requirements
Application standard
BS EN 1838 / BS 5266-7
BS EN 50172/BS 5266 -8
Luminaires data
Wiring standards
BS EN 13032-3
BS7161/HD 384 CH 56
EN 60598-2-22
Central Battery units
EN 50171
Automatic test systems IEC 60243
Product Standards
Other Standards
BS 5266 parts- 2 Elec. Low mounted
way guidance
- 4/5 E/L Fibre optic
- 6 Non. Elec. Low
mounted way guidance
BS EN 12193 Sports
ISO 8528-12
Types of emergency lighting ( EN 1838)
Emergency Lighting
Emergency Escape Lighting
Standby Lighting
Escape Route
Open Area
(Previously called
Defined Escape
(Also called
Anti Panic)
Safety Signs
High Risk
Area Lighting
Implications of the new legislation
Fire safety legislation now changes the nature of the way
BS 5266-1 is applied. It is no longer prescriptive but is an
essential element in enabling the Responsible Person
(sometimes called the Duty Holder or the Appropriate
Person) to demonstrate their premises are safe.
The new legislation acts retrospectively so any premises
engineered to previous issues of BS 5266-1 need to be
checked to consider if they need to be upgraded and
so the responsible person/risk assessor needs
guidance to assist them to decide if an upgrade to the
latest standard is needed and also the urgency to
enable them to determine the time scale to enter in the
action plan.
Reasons for changing BS 5266-1
When BS 5266-1:2005 was issued compliance of a
building was assessed by Building control inspecting
construction and the Fire authorities checking that the
emergency lighting was adequate for the protection of
occupants, when they were approved a fire certificate
was issued.
In practice this meant that trained experienced experts
checked that premises met the prescriptive
requirements of the standard.
The new legislative procedures mean we need to re
format the standard to assist users to make risk
Once issued the fire certificate remained valid unless the
use of the premises changed
Other changes in BS 5266-1 2011
In addition to the format of the revision the new Code
of Practice  Endorses the change to a single Exit sign format.
 Incorporates of the major sections of BS 5266-10 by1. Providing recommendations for specific risk
2. Advising course of action for Existing installations
not complying with current Standards
 The standard also identifies the removal of A
deviations in EN 1838 that are no longer viable
 Incorporate essential updates from the last edition.
Revisions to Align with BS EN 1838
 Our previous ‘A’ deviation still allowed a minimum light
level of only 0.2 lux on the centre line of escape routes
is now removed. This relaxation was only allowed with
the requirement that it was only used on permanently
unobstructed escape routes which must have had
contrasting colour changes of direction and stair
 Our other ‘A’ deviation was that generators could be
allowed to start up in 15 seconds for areas where the
occupants were familiar with the premises and with
specific fire authority approval. This now means that all
generator systems must provide illumination within 5
seconds or have battery fed bridging illumination.
The overall target of the standard
remains the same the changes are in
how it is achieved and demonstrated
 To indicate clearly and unambiguously the escape
 To provide illumination along such routes to allow
safe movements towards and through the exits
provided to a place of safety
 To ensure that fire alarm call points and fire fighting
equipment provided along escape routes can be
readily located and used
 To permit operations concerned with safety
Definitions BS 5266-1 / EN 1838
Emergency Escape Lighting That part of emergency lighting
provided to enable safe exit in the event of failure of the
normal supply.
Escape Route Lighting That part of emergency lighting
provided to enable safe exit for building occupants by
providing appropriate visual conditions and direction finding on
escape routes
Open Area (or Anti-Panic Area) Lighting That part of
emergency escape lighting provided to reduce the likelihood of
panic and to enable safe movement of occupants towards
escape routes
High Risk Task Area Lighting That part of emergency lighting
provided to ensure the safety of people involved in a
potentially dangerous process or situation and to enable
proper shut down procedures to be carried out
Consultation BS 5266-1
It is important if possible to consult with all relevant
persons so the ‘Responsible person’ can explain the
Hazards and people at risk together with the
capabilities of maintenance and operating staff to
enable the design and installing engineer can match
the emergency lighting to the application needs
Design preparation – BS 5266-1
Plans of the premises are now even more essential
Ideally they will include –
 Mains lighting
 Fire alarm equipment
 Fire compartments & escape routes
When the design is proposed the responsible person
should be able to check the interface of all the
The risk assessment should be available showing The location and types of people at risk e.g. Disabled
Any hazard areas in the building.
Any activities which must be able to safely continue
in a supply failure
Design Decisions-Duration–BS 5266-1 9.1
Basic information to provide an acceptable
Three hour duration is recommended by the
guides and is specifically required in –
 places of entertainment or for sleeping risk
 Premises where evacuation is not immediate
 Premises where early re-occupation may occur.
One hour duration may be used, in some premises,
but only if the following conditions are met.
 evacuation is immediate in a supply failure
 re-occupation is delayed until the system has fully
Emergency Lighting Design
Stages 1- 5 must be covered for compliance to BS
Stage 6 applications in Annex D should be checked to
assess if they are applicable
1st Locate and site Exit signs
Locate luminaires at points of emphasis
Define and illuminate escape routes
Locate and illuminate open areas
Check if there are any High risk task areas
Check if any occupants will be at risk if so
provide the illumination shown in Annex D
Stage 1 - Site Exit Signs
Ensure that Signs complying with the Signs Directive
are located at all emergency Exits and along
Escape routes
Where direct sight of a sign is not possible a
directional sign or series of signs must be used
There should be no ambiguity as to which
direction the escape route follows
While it is acceptable to use painted signs
illuminated from a remote emergency light
provided it is within 2 metres it is difficult to prove
that the adequate values of illumination have been
achieved and particular care must be taken that
they will be adequately visible in an emergency.
Format of Emergency Exit Signs
BS 5266-1 5.4.2
BS 5499
Signs Directive
ISO 3864/ISO7010
The ISO 3864 format is intended to be the new
common format and should be used where possible
 Signs should be illuminated to EN 1838/BS 5266-7
 Signs should be located at final exits and anywhere
that the route may be in doubt
To make the signs more visible at all times in
premises where occupants are unfamiliar with the
building it is recommended that maintained operation
is used
Luminance requirements EN 1838
Luminance of the green shall be at least 2cd/m2
Ratio of max. to min. luminance shall be less than 10:1
The ratio of luminance between white and the colour shall be
between 5:1 and 10:1
Colours shall be as ISO 3864 i.e. White out of Green
Checked by Luminaire tests to BS EN 60598-2-22
Minimum luminance of any part of the
signboard 2 cd/m2
The ratio of maximum to minimum
luminance of any area of either colour of the
sign shall not be greater than 10:1
The ratio of luminance between white and
adjacent colour shall be between 5:1 & 15:1
Signs – luminance BS 5266-1
Luminance of self illuminated signs is detailed and checked
by the tests in BS EN 60598-2-22
Previously as a practical rule the standard required an
externally illuminated safety signs to be illuminated by an
emergency luminaire to be located within 2 metres. This still
applies but in addition there is now a requirement that the
illumination of a remote sign should be not less than 5 lx.
Maximum distance to the
sign is still 2m
Minimum illumination of the sign from
the emergency light is now 5 Lux
Signs Viewing Distance BS 5266-1
H Height of Panel
eight of panel)
D Maximum viewing distance
Internally illuminated Maximum D less than 200 x H
Externally illuminated Maximum D less than 100 x H
D (Distance from sign)
(If the viewer is not predominantly facing the sign at 900
the viewing factor should be reduced by the cosine of
the angle of viewing to the normal of the sign.)
Signs Viewing Distance BS 5266-1
No predominant viewing angle
No cosine correction needed
Predominant viewing angle faces
sign at 90o
No cosine correction needed
Predominant viewing angle faces
sign at 40o
Cosine correction needed
Exit signs
Points of emphasis
Luminaries must be sited – at each exit door to
Illuminate Exit and other safety signs
20 0
Signs should be located
above 2m but no more than
20 0 above line of sight from
the maximum viewing
(If this is not possible an
assessment should be made
to ensure that the visibility of
the sign is still acceptable)
System integrity BS 5266 -1
Failure of emergency lighting luminaire
The risks of occupants being in total darkness in the
event of failure of individual emergency lighting
luminaires should be compensated for by ensuring
that illumination from at least two luminaires is visible
in each room or zone of the escape route or
protected rooms.
Previous wording in BS 5266-1 2005 -System integrity is
specified in BS EN 50172:2004/BS 5266-8:2004, 5.3.
NOTE The term “compartment” in BS EN 50172:2004/BS
5266-8:2004, 5.3 is used to mean a part of the escape route
reliant on illumination located within it. This term is not used in
the sense of compartmentation under the Building
Regulations as part of the fire precautions.
System integrity
BS 5266- 1 6.3
Provision of highly reliable emergency escape
lighting is essential.
The illumination by the emergency escape
lighting system of any section of the escape
route or room of an open area shall be from two
or more luminaires so that the failure of one
luminaire does not plunge the route or room into
darkness or make the directional finding effect of the
system ineffective.
System integrity BS 5266-1 6.3
In the event of a failure of a single luminaire the other
fitting will prevent the compartment being in total
Healthy luminaire
Full Light
Failed luminaire
Lower light but still useable with care
This requirement not only protects against luminaire
failure but also enables testing by switching alternate
luminaires in premises which are always occupied.
Annex D 2
Sudden failure of lighting
while staff are cooking hot
food is potentially dangerous,
currently these areas need an
emergency light over the
extinguisher but guidance
should be given as to the light
level, response and duration
times of emergency lighting
over the area for hot food
preparation and evacuation
routes. Also switches must be
visible to leave cooker OFF
First Aid Points
Annex D 3
The emergency light level
required is now 5 lux on floor in
all cases but we should also
consider the light level at the
working plane where treatment is
(Previously the light level was not
checked if the first aid point was
an escape route or in an open
Treatment rooms
Add to
Annex D 4
Medical centres and
dentists surgeries are now
performing far more
invasive techniques to
reduce the load on
conventional hospitals so it
is important to ensure that
the patients will not be put
at risk by sudden loss of
light and higher light levels
are likely to be needed to
enable medical procedures
to be completed safely
Annex D 5
Refuge areas for disabled
staff in these areas fire
wardens will now have to
go and collect disabled
persons often also
transferring them into
rescue sleds to enable
them safely to be taken
down stairs should
consider the light level
response and duration
times of emergency lighting
in refuges
Plant Rooms
Annex D 6
In the event of a supply
failure site engineers
may be required to enter
plant or switch rooms we
should consider the light
level response and
duration times of
emergency lighting to
enable them safely to
work in this area
Location of Fire Panels
Annex D 7
It is part of the responsible person’s duty to investigate
the source of the alarm and investigate the cause
Consequently the emergency lighting must be sufficient
to read the panel and any associated building plans
Light levels at both
the panel and
building plans must
be adequate for
them to be read
Reception areas Annex D 8
If it is also part of the responsible person’s duty to
ring the fire brigade in the event of a fire. (even if the
system is connected to a central station)
Emergency lighting must be sufficient for this activity
to be performed
Light levels at both the phone
and desk surface must be
adequate to ensure that the
message can be relayed
Note This should be a direct
line as some switchboards will
not operate on supply failure
Panic Bars and pads Annex D 9
Where the exit doors have security devices that
require manipulation such as crash bars then the
bars should have appropriate downwards
Illumination for exit signs on
doors that require operation
of a manipulative security
device should also provide
sufficient illumination to
facilitate the location and
operation of the device
Outside exits to a place of safety
Luminaries must now be sited –
Outside and near to exits to a place of safety
Previously some
installations were allowed
to use illumination from
street lighting. There
continued use should be
confirmed by a risk
assessment paying
particular attention as to
whether they may now be
switched off.
Swimming pools
Annex D 10
The perimeter of Swimming
pools and particularly the vicinity
of diving boards are areas that
could be identified by the risk
assessment as being hazardous
in the event of a supply failure
Illuminances for specific locations
15 lx 30 min
First aid rooms
Treatment rooms
Plant rooms, switch
rooms and winding
facilities for lifts
Fire alarm control
and indicating
Reception areas
15 lx 30 min
50 lx 30 min
5 lx Full
15 lx Full
Reference plane
Horizontal on working plane,
switches and cut - outs readily visible
Horizontal on working plane
Horizontal on working plane
Horizontal on floor, vertical at wall
mounted communication devices
In plane of visual task
15 lx Full
In plane of visual task
15 lx Full
5 lx Full
In plane of visual task
Panic bars and pads 5s
or security devices
Swimming pool
/diving areas
5 lx
Horizontal on plane of panic bar/pad;
vertical at vertically mounted/wall
mounted security devices
Horizontal on floor and treads
Testing of emergency lighting
BS 5266-1 12.3 and Annex H
Regardless of the type of testing system a number
of considerations always apply
The system must be appropriate for the application
The tests consist of –
A monthly function test
At least monthly to check the luminaire operates
An annual duration test
At least annually for full duration
Risks during the duration test must be minimised
Re-charging must be checked after the tests
Testing regime BS 5266-1 & EN 50172
Current format the tests should start with the
commissioning full rated discharge test
Monthly function tests
Annual full
rated tests
BS 5266-1 1999 the old format previously required self
contained emergency lighting to be tested 6 monthly for one
third of rated capacity until the 3rd year of its life from then on
the tests were for annual full duration test
Testing and recording BS 5266-1 11 Annex H
Date of test Test Type
conducting the
Commissioning Competent
(Full duration) engineer /
All pass
None needed
Function x11
(Short test)
Person /
All pass
None needed
Annual test
(Full duration)
engineer /
All pass
None needed
If there are any failures these must be noted and the
action taken identified
Test logs should cover the data in the model certificate
Testing system options BS 5266-1 8.3.3
Automatic testing systems to BS EN 62034 combine
the advantages of switching each luminaire with ease
of use and also enables self contained luminaires to
be connected to the final lighting circuit and yet tested
without interrupting the normal lighting.
Manual single
Manual individual
Automatic tests
/ no switches

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