Emergency and Exit Lighting
Offices require several safety features, including proper emergency and exit lighting. If you already have them in place, then when did you last test them? The fact is that New Zealand law (New Zealand Standards 2293.2) requires businesses to test their emergency and exit lighting every six months to ensure that they still work.
The reason for the testing is obvious. What would happen if a fire started and the lights go out, and everything goes dark? The office gets full of smoke, and everyone has to evacuate quickly. If they didn’t have the emergency lighting and exit lighting to guide them, how are they going to get out?
The Types of Exit Lighting
Exit lighting is typically installed over doors or as directions to guide people to the closest exit so they can escape in an emergency. There are two main types of exit lights; one that is constantly turned on and one that only comes on in the event of power failure.
For the kind that is always on, there are two sets of bulbs built into them. There are the main bulbs that are powered by the same power supply as the rest of the building, and a low voltage bulb powered by a battery in the light. This second light comes on in the event of a power outage. Exit lights that appear to be working normally after a power failure could have a flat battery or a burned-out bulb, which would prevent them from working properly when the time comes.
The emergency light is connected to the main power supply for the building. The power keeps the battery charged. If the power goes down for some reason, it triggers a circuit in the light fixture that turns on the low voltage bulb using the power from the battery. If there’s no charge in the battery, then the light becomes dim too quickly to help anyone. If the bulb is burned out, then it won’t come on at all.