CA452001EN - March 2015
Emergency Lighting Design Guide
The main reason for installing an emergency lighting system
is to enable the building to meet fire safety legislation in a way
that is visually acceptable and meets the user’s needs for ease
of operation and maintenance. Consequently it is important to
establish all the relevant legal requirements for emergency lighting
and fire alarm systems before commencing the design. These
should ideally be agreed between the “responsible person” and
the system designer.
The main legislative requirements are:
The Fire Safety Order 2005
The Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 and Fire and Rescue Services
(Northern Ireland) Order 2006 No.1254, reforms the law relating
to fire safety in non-domestic premises, and specifically replaces
the Fire Precautions (workplace) regulation 1997 and the Fire
Precautions Act 1971. It imposes a general duty to take such
fire precautions as may be reasonably required to ensure that
premises are safe for the occupants and those in the immediate
By virtue of the order, the Responsible Person (for Scotland the
Duty Holder) is required to carry out a fire risk assessment of
their premises. If not trained themselves, the Responsible Person
must appoint, or contract, a ‘Competent Person’ to carry out a risk
assessment. This must be a suitable and sufficient assessment of
the risk to which relevant persons are exposed for the purpose of
identifying the general fire precautions they need to take to comply
with the requirements of the order.
This legislation requires that all premises must be safeguarded
from fire by appropriate fire safety precautions.
• This must be demonstrated by the responsible person for the
premises (normally the employer) conducting a fire safety risk
assessment. If the site has 5 or more employees then the risk
assessment must be kept as a formal record for inspection by
the Fire Authority.
• The assessment replaces fire certificates which are now no
Main points in the guide are:
• That the law now covers all premises that have employees or
are visited by members of the public. (Previously, fire
certificates did not cover small premises).
• Emergency lighting should be upgraded to meet the current
standards. (Previously premises did not have to be upgraded
when standards improved, now those engineered to previous
issues need to be brought up to date).
The building regulations detail the design and construction
characteristics of a building. Approved Document B details the fire
safety requirements for new buildings and the major refurbishment
of existing premises. Table 9 of this document shows the locations
that must be provided with emergency lighting. This list should
be used as a starting point and BS5266-1:2011 should be referred
to as the main source of information. This provides information
for areas requiring emergency lighting but also best practice for
the lighting of a selection of high risk tasks. It also clarifies that
emergency lighting is needed for all parts of schools that either do
not have natural light or are used outside normal school hours. The
regulations require that systems comply with BS 5266-1:2011 the
code of practice for emergency lighting.
In order for greater clarity, it is now split into two separate
volumes: Volume 1 for Dwellings and Volume 2 for Buildings Other
Than Dwelling Houses.
Emergency Design Process Chart