The LWF Blog

Fire Safety Engineering for Design – Siting of Escape Lighting – Part 177

April 2, 2024 10:28 am

LWF’s Fire Safety Engineering blog series is written for Architects, building designers and others in the construction industry to highlight and promote discussion on all topics around fire engineering. In part 176, LWF discussed emergency lighting, particularly in relation to management procedures. In part 177, we talk about the siting of essential escape lighting.

During the initial design phase of essential escape lighting, consultation with all appropriate parties is important. The architect (where applicable), building owner, fire officer and building control officer are all relevant parties, along with the building’s insurer who may wish to impose their own requirements for insurance purposes. The emergency escape routes should be decided after consultation and taking into account the requirements of each.

Once the escape routes are decided, the design of luminaire sites should proceed, taking into account any specific hazards and highlighting areas where safety equipment and safety signs are placed. There are typical locations in most builds which should be lit on a normal and emergency lighting basis:

  • Designated stairs, corridors, aisles, ramps, escalators and passageways
  • At each exit door
  • At/near the intersection of corridors
  • Near each stairway so each flight of stairs receives direct light
  • Near changes in direction
  • Near changes of floor level
  • Near firefighting equipment
  • Near fire alarm call points
  • Near first-aid equipment
  • At non-illuminated exit and safety signs, as required by the enforcing authority

The extent of emergency lighting required may be affected by other measures, behaviours or management policies. The relevant persons mentioned above should be consulted at an early stage to identify such instances and ensure the resulting design reflects them.

A situation where the occupants are allowed to stay in place during a lighting failure might increase the need for emergency lighting, whereas the placement of vision panels in doors opening onto escape routes could provide the recommended levels of emergency illumination needed in the adjacent room and reduce the requirement in that particular area.

In part 178 of LWF’s series on fire engineering we will look at the principal documents covering emergency lighting in the UK, before beginning to discuss additional escape lighting. In the meantime, if you have any questions about this blog, or wish to discuss your own project with one of our fire engineers, please contact us.

Lawrence Webster Forrest has been working with their clients since 1986 to produce innovative and exciting building projects. If you would like further information on how LWF and fire strategies could assist you, please contact the LWF office on 0800 410 1130.

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.

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