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Emergency Lighting

Emergency lighting refers to the system of safety lights used in buildings to provide illumination when the primary power supply is cut off, such as during a power outage or a fire incident. These lighting systems are especially important during emergencies, when standard lighting can fail, and people need to safely evacuate a building.

The Australian standard for emergency lighting is the AS/NZS 2293 series. This standard outlines the requirements for the design, installation, and operation of emergency evacuation lighting in buildings. These standards are governed by the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) and are enforced by state and local authorities.

The AS/NZS 2293 series is divided into several parts:

  1. AS/NZS 2293.1: Design and installation: This details the minimum design and installation requirements for emergency lighting systems.

  2. AS/NZS 2293.2: Inspection and maintenance: This part details the regular inspection and maintenance requirements for emergency lights to ensure that they are always in working condition. It typically requires six-monthly inspections and maintenance.

  3. AS/NZS 2293.3: Emergency escape luminaires and exit signs: This section provides details on the specific requirements for emergency escape lighting and exit signs, including their brightness, size, and positioning.

Emergency lighting typically includes two main types:

  1. Emergency escape lighting: This includes exit signs and path markings that guide people to the nearest safe exit during an emergency.

  2. Standby lighting: This type of lighting is designed to enable normal activities to continue when there's a power outage.

Emergency lighting units often use batteries that are kept charged by the building's main power supply. They automatically switch on when the main power supply fails. This battery backup system ensures the continuous operation of these lights during emergencies.

In Australia, it's a legal requirement for all commercial and industrial buildings, as well as multi-residential buildings (like apartments and hotels) to have an adequate emergency lighting system installed. These systems must be regularly tested and maintained in accordance with the AS/NZS 2293.2 standard. Non-compliance can result in penalties or legal action from relevant authorities, and can interfere with submission of your Annual Fire Safety Statement.