Emergency lighting systems should be designed for all civil structures where a power cut or mains supply failure may cause a risk of injury or death to the public, a major environmental hazard or substantial property damage (Regulation of the Minister of Infrastructure of 12 April 2002). Journal of Laws No. 75, Item 690, as amended; Regulation of the Minister of Infrastructure of 12 March 2009, Journal of Laws No. 56, Item 461 and Regulation of the Minister of Infrastructure of 10 December 2010, Journal of Laws No. 239, Item 1597).
According to the law, emergency lighting is required:
1. In enclosed spaces of:
- cinema, theatre and concerts halls, as well as other venues
- conference rooms, lecture theatres, entertainment establishments and sports halls for more than 200 people,
- exhibition rooms in museums,
- areas exceeding 1000 m2 in car parks provided with artificial source of light only.
2. In escape and exit routes:
- in the rooms and areas specified in Section 1 above,
- provided with artificial sources of light only,
- at hospitals and similar facilities, as well as other buildings intended for people with a limited ability to move,
- in multi-storey and high-rise public buildings and residential buildings.
3. In temporary buildings and structures, if intended as entertainment venues or other places of assembly.
4. In air-supported structures, if used as temporary production or storage facilities, where the fire load density of the fire zone does not exceed 1000MJ/m².
5. In temporary structures (tents) intended as entertainment venues.
6. Control rooms and technical rooms at gas compressor stations (and elsewhere on the premises of such stations).
Emergency lighting is designed for use when mains-supplied primary lighting luminaires fail. For this reason, emergency lighting luminaires have to be supplied from an independent source of electric power.
Emergency lighting must comply with the requirements and parameters specified in PN-EN 1838 and PN-EN 50172. The main purpose of emergency lighting is to enable safe exit or evacuation of the premises where the mains supply fails.
As the efficiency of light sources tends to decrease with operation time, the luminaires get dirty and other factors affect the overall performance, it is recommended to design the luminous intensity at least at 1.25 times the level recommended in applicable standards. For the calculation of the luminous intensity of emergency escape lighting only direct illumination of the surface should be considered, without any light reflected in floors, walls or ceilings.
For normal activities to be carried out as usual stand-by lighting is provided.
If stand-by lighting is used as emergency escape lighting, the system should be compliant with the above-mentioned standards and any other standards applicable to the products and wiring used. If the illuminance provided by stand-by lighting is lower than the minimum illuminance level achieved with primary lighting, such lighting should only be used to ensure proper completion or interruption of activities.
The purpose of illumination of an escape route is to ensure safe evacuation or exit of people from the area and to enable them to locate fire protection and suppression equipment.
In the case of escape routes up to 2m wide, illuminance level on the floor along the centre line of the route should be at least 1 lx, and in the central band of the route, covering at least a half of the width, it should be at least 50% of the value.
Wider escape routes can be treated as a number of 2m strips or they should meet the requirements for open areas. The ratio of the maximum illuminance to the minimum illuminance along the centre line of the escape route should not exceed 40:1.
The purpose of anti-panic illumination of open areas is to reduce the likelihood of panic and to enable safe movement of people towards escape routes and exits by providing enough visibility to reach a place from where the escape route or exit can be located. It is recommended that escape routes or open areas should be illuminated by light falling directly onto the relevant surface; any obstructions located up to 2m above the surface should be illuminated as well.
Open area illumination is used in zones with unspecified escape routes: large rooms, halls or buildings with floor area exceeding 60 m2 or less, if a greater number of people gathered there may cause an extra risk.
The minimum illumination provided by emergency escape lighting in an open area should be at least 0.5 lx at the floor level across a free core area, except for an outer rim of 0.5m excluded from the area. The ratio of the maximum illuminance to the minimum illuminance of the open area should not exceed 40:1.
The purpose of illumination of high risk task areas is to increase the safety of persons involved in potentially dangerous processes or situations and to allow safe and correct completion or interruption of activities in such areas. In high risk task areas, the operating level of illuminance at the reference plane should not be lower than 10% of the normal illuminance required for given activities, however no less than 15 lx. The stroboscopic effect must be eliminated. The uniformity of illuminance in a high risk task area should not exceed 10:1.
The minimum duration of emergency lighting should be as long as the safety hazards exist.
High risk task area lighting should ensure full and continuous illuminance required at once or within 0.5 s, depending on the application.
The luminance of each colour area of a safety sign should be at least 2 cd/m2 in all viewing directions which are important for safety dla bezpieczeństwa.
In order to ensure correct visibility, allowing safe evacuation, it is recommended to place emergency lighting luminaires at least 2m above floor level.
For appropriate luminance, emergency luminaires should be situated close to each exit door and where necessary to highlight potential danger or safety equipment. Emergency escape luminaires should be placed as shown below:
If first aid points or firefighting equipment and fire alarm call points are not situated on the escape route or within the open area, they should be illuminated so that the illuminance level of at least 5 lx is ensured on the floor close to these points.
NOTE: According to the applicable standard, ‘close to’ means within at a distance of 2m measured horizontally.
Emergency lighting should also be provided in other hazardous areas and the areas that should be accessible if primary lighting fails.
Such areas include the following:
- Lift cars,
- Escalators and moving walkways,
- Toilets, lobbies, changing rooms, cloakrooms and locker rooms larger than 8 m2 and rooms intended for use by the disabled,
- Technical rooms where escape route lighting should meet the requirements for the open area lighting or high risk task areas, as applicable,
- Covered car parks,
- Hospitals – the illuminance of escape route lighting at ICUs and operating theatres should be at least as required for primary lighting in those areas (unless stand-by lighting is available).
Signs placed at all emergency exits along escape routes should be so illuminated as to indicate the direction to a place of safety in an unambiguous manner. [PNEN1838:2005]
Exit and direction signs should be clearly visible from anywhere along the escape route. All signs indicating emergency exits and escape routes should be in the same colour and format, whereas their minimum illuminance should be 2 cd/m2.
As people in the building may not be familiar with its layout, internally illuminated, permanently powered safety signs are recommended.
Note that internally illuminated safety signs are visible from a greater distance than the same size signs illuminated from the outside.
d [m] – viewing distance (maximum distance at which a sign is visible and recognizable)
p [m] – height of sign
s – constant value: 100 for externally illuminated signs and 200 for internally illuminated signs.
Power to an emergency escape lighting system should be supplied immediately, automatically and for enough time to ensure illumination of specific areas if the primary lighting fails.
An escape lighting system should fulfil the following functions:
- Illuminate escape and exit route signs,
- Provide adequate illuminance along escape routes to ensure safe movement towards the final exit,
- Ensure easy location and use of fire alarm call devices and firefighting equipment distributed along escape routes,
- Enable performing safety measures.
Emergency escape lighting should be activated not only in the event of a total blackout or failure of the primary lighting, but also if a local failure occurs, such as a damage to a branch circuit. All applicable scenarios should be considered at the emergency lighting system design phase, in order to make sure that the emergency lighting will operate correctly if the power supply of primary lighting should fail in a given zone.
An emergency lighting system is to comprise all equipment and components within a facility which are interconnected to fulfil the purposes of emergency lighting. This applies, in particular, to the duration and adequate illuminance of emergency lighting, the application of primary or nighttime lighting, reporting events and the safety of operation and activities of rescue teams, also in the event of fire.
The following equipment and components make up an emergency lighting system:
- Emergency lighting systems with a central power supply or self-contained luminaires (with internal batteries),
- Emergency luminaires designed for use with a CPS system or internal batteries, including their equipment (ballasts, switching and address modules in the case of CPS or inverters, address modules and batteries in the case of self-contained luminaires),
- Cables and wires for the connection of emergency lighting system with luminaires,
- Cable trays, cable glands, suspension brackets and mechanical fixing systems to make connections in emergency lighting systems,
- Additionally designed emergency lighting system devices and equipment, such as remote controllers, computer connection modules, monitoring systems for luminaire supply circuits, systems used for operation with fire protection equipment and other components used in emergency lighting systems.
As-fitted drawings of the completed emergency lighting system should be submitted and stored on the relevant premises. The drawings should include all luminaires and primary components installed. The data should be updated whenever any changes are made to the system. The drawings should be signed by a competent person who verifies the design in terms of compliance with the applicable standard.
In addition, an event log should be maintained to record routine reports, tests, modifications and damages.
The records should be available in a hand-written form or as printouts from an automatic testing device.
The event log should be kept on the premises in the custody of an appropriate person appointed by the owner/leaseholder; the log should be available for inspection by authorized parties.
The event log should be used for recording the following information:
- System order date, including a certificate of any modifications,
- Date of each routine test and inspection,
- Date and a concise description of each service and inspection activities, or of performed tests,
- Date and a concise description of each defect or damage and performed repairs,
- Date and a concise description of each change to the emergency lighting system,
- Description of basic characteristics and operating modes of an automatic testing device, if used.
Regular maintenance and repairs are essential. The property owner/leaseholder should appoint a competent person to supervise the provision of maintenance services. The supervisor should have sufficient competences to ensure that any necessary maintenance and repair work is correctly performed on the system.
If an automatic testing device is used, its reports should be recorded every month. In the case of all other system types, tests should be performed according to PN-EN 50172 and the results should be recorded in the log.
Tests and inspections of emergency lighting equipment
As there is a risk of primary lighting power supply failure shortly after an emergency lighting system test or during subsequent charging of batteries, emergency duration tests should be performed, if possible, at the time when the risk is low. This should allow safe recharging of the batteries. Alternatively, short tests of the emergency lighting system can be performed until the full capacity of batteries is restored.
The purpose of visual inspection is to verify that the central power supply system is in good working condition and to identify the need for any tests. The inspection involves visual checking of system indicators.
If automatic testing devices are used, the results of short tests should be recorded.
In the case of all other systems, a monthly test involves checking the functionalities of the emergency lighting system by simulating a mains power supply failure. The test is to verify if all specified emergency luminaires and illuminated safety signs switch into emergency mode and resume their normal operating state when the mains supply is restored.
The duration of the test should be sufficient to check the functioning of the luminaires within the tested zone. During the test all respective luminaires and signs should be checked to confirm that they are present, clean and function correctly.
If automatic testing devices are used, the results of full rated emergency duration tests should be recorded.
In the case of all other systems, an annual test involves checking the functionalities of the emergency lighting system by simulating a mains power supply failure. The test is to verify if all specified emergency luminaires and illuminated safety signs switch into emergency mode and resume their normal operating state when the mains supply is restored. The duration of the test should be sufficient to check the expected emergency duration of the system as specified by the manufacturer.
During the test all respective indicator lamps or devices should be checked to confirm that their indications are correct. It is recommended to check the correct operation of the charging system.
Emergency escape luminaires should be designed and manufactured according to PN-EN 60598-2-22:2004/AC Luminaires – Part 2-22: Particular requirements. Emergency lighting luminaires should be specified according to their intended place of installation. Luminaires used in Ex-zones should comply with relevant standards and the ATEX directive (94/9/EC).
Starters for emergency lighting luminaires should comply with PN-EN 61347:2005 (multi-part document) Lamp controlgear – Part 2-7: Particular requirements for DC supplied electronic ballasts for emergency lighting. Due to the amount of output power, the starting pulse current load and duration are important parameters of the starters. These parameters should be specified so that they do not cause damage of power supply circuit contacts (e.g. fuse bases, relay contacts etc.).
Central power supply systems for emergency lighting should be designed and manufactured according to PN-EN 50171:2007 Central power supply systems. Safety requirements for batteries should comply with PN-EN 50272-2:2007 Safety requirements for secondary batteries and battery installations – Part 2: Stationary batteries.
Due to a variety of internal designs and operating modes of safety equipment, a description of different types of central power supply systems for emergency lighting is not required. CPS systems should work in the IT earthing system with insulation monitoring in order to allow safe operation of rescue teams. Automatic emergency lighting test systems should be designed, manufactured and installed according to relevant requirements of national standards and regulations.
Classification of luminaire enclosures
The resistance of electrical equipment and devices to harmful effects of the weather and environment, as well as the protection against accidental contact with live parts depend on the execution of enclosures and guards.
This kind of protection is referred to as ingress protection and denominated by the so-called IP ratings. According to this classification, electrical enclosures are marked with a two-digit code preceded by the letters IP (PN-EN 60529:2003).
AC electric appliances operating at a rated voltage of up to 440V and the voltage to ground not exceeding 250V, depending on the applicable electric shock protection measure, are divided into the following protection classes:
Protection class 0 – Protection against electric shock relies on basic insulation only.
If the insulation is damaged, electric shock protection should be ensured by favourable conditions, such as: placing out of reach, isolation of the workplace, no earthed devices, systems or structural elements within arm’s reach.
In Poland, the use of Class 0 equipment is permitted as long as there is no simultaneous contact with the appliance and earth potential or if the contact is rare.
Protection class I – Protection against electric shock by indirect touch is ensured by connecting a protective conductor terminal with a PE or PEN conductor, or directly with the earthing system.
This is to ensure:
- Fast enough activation of relevant protective devices and disconnection of the power supply, or
- Limitation of touch voltage to values which do not exceed the permissible limits under specific conditions.
Protection class II – In the appliances of this class electric shock protection is ensured by the application of suitable insulation – double or reinforced – whose damage is very unlikely.
Regulations and standards concerning emergency lighting:
1. Regulation of the Minister of Infrastructure of 12 April 2002 on technical specifications for buildings and their location. Regulation of the Minister of Infrastructure of 12 April 2002 Journal of Laws No. 75, Item 690, as amended; Regulation of the Minister of Infrastructure of 12 March 2009, Journal of Laws No. 56, Item 461 and Regulation of the Minister of Infrastructure of 10 December 2010, Journal of Laws No. 239, Item 1597.
2. Regulation of the Minister of Interior and Administration of 7 June 2010 on fire protection of buildings, other civil structures and lands (Journal of Laws No. 109, Item 719).
3. Regulation of the Minister of Interior and Administration of 27 April 2010 on the specification of products used to assure public safety or the protection of health, life and property, and rules for issuance of certificates of admittance for these products (Journal of Laws No. 85, Item 553).
4. PN-EN 50172:2005 – Emergency escape lighting systems.
5. PN-EN 1838:2005 Lighting applications. Emergency lighting.
6. MLAR guidelines (standard guidelines adopted by a conference of ministers of construction regarding requirements for technical aspects of fire protection of electrical wiring systems), taking into consideration the requirements of the European Parliament included in the guidelines of Directive 98/24/EC of 11 June 1998, amended by the guidelines of Directive 98/48/EC of 20 July 1998 (Official Journal of the EC, No. L 217, p. 18).
Additional standards to be followed when designing emergency lighting systems:
- PN-EN 60598-2-22: 2004/AC Luminaires – Part 2-22: Particular requirements – Luminaires for emergency lighting.
- HD 384/HD 60364 PN-IEC 60364:1999 (multi-part document) Electrical installations for buildings.
- PN-EN 13032-1:2005 Light and lighting. Measurement and presentation of photometric data of lamps and luminaires. Part 1: Measurement and file format.
- PN-EN 13032-2:2005 Light and lighting. Measurement and presentation of photometric data of lamps and luminaires. Part 2: Presentation of data for indoor and outdoor workplaces.
- PN-EN 12464-1:2004 Light and lighting – Lighting of workplaces.–Part 1: Indoor workplaces
- PN-EN 50171:2007 Central power supply systems
- PN-EN 50272-2:2007 Safety requirements for secondary batteries and battery installations – Part 2: Stationary batteries.
- PN-EN 60529:2003 Degrees of protection provided by enclosures (IP Code)
- PN-EN 61347:2005 (multi-part document) Lamp controlgear – Part 2-7: Particular requirements for DC supplied electronic ballasts for emergency lighting.
- PN-EN 60617-11:2004 Graphical symbols for diagrams – Part 11: Architectural and topographical installation plans and diagrams.
- PN-N-01256-5:1998 Safety signs. Rules for placement of safety signs along escape routes and fire access roads.
- PN-N-01255:1992 Safety colours and safety signs.