The LWF Blog

Fire Safety for Facilities Management Personnel – Emergency Escape Lighting – Part 165

August 30, 2022 11:02 am

Lawrence Webster Forrest (LWF) is a specialist fire engineering and fire risk management consultancy whose aim is to give information on best practice in fire safety for facilities management personnel through this blog series. In part 164, LWF considered emergency escape lighting. In part 165, we continue to discuss emergency escape lighting.

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 for England and Wales, and equivalent legislation in Scotland and Northern Ireland, requires that the means of escape from a building can be safely and effectively used. This means that any measures necessary to ensure that is the case must be put into place.

For instance, in business premises, emergency routes and exits which require illumination must be provided with emergency escape lighting. It should be of sufficient intensity to ensure building occupants can read signage and see any potential obstacles and it is provided in case of failure of the normal lighting system.

In some buildings in particular, those where people sleep or buildings of public assembly, emergency escape lighting is an essential part of the fire protection measures necessary for the safety of building occupants.

Additionally, industrial buildings such as factories and warehouses, or offices where the premises may be operational or occupied at night will require emergency escape lighting to be provided.

Any building where some or all of the escape route relies on electrical light and does not have windows, as well as any premises used in darkness should already have emergency escape lighting.

It is important too, that the owner/occupier/designer of a building consider the potential for the building to be occupied outside of normal hours (at night/early morning) by sub-contracted staff. Security and cleaning staff may both need to access premises outside of normal business hours and when it is dark.

Overall, emergency escape lighting should be regarded as essential in most premises, wherever they are situated.

Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, businesses in England and Wales must install emergency lighting in their premises by law. The same applies in Scotland and Northern Ireland in equivalent legislation. In addition, BS EN 1838 specifies escape and standby lighting requirements for businesses in the event of a power failure.

In part 165 of this series, LWF will look at design choices for emergency escape lighting installations. In the meantime, if you have any queries about your own facilities or wish to discuss this blog series, please contact LWF on freephone 0800 410 1130.


Lawrence Webster Forrest is a fire engineering consultancy based in Surrey with over 25 years’ experience, which provides a wide range of consultancy services to professionals involved in the design, development and construction and operation of buildings.


While care has been taken to ensure that information contained in LWF’s publications is true and correct at the time of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of this information.

Share this post