The LWF Blog

Fire Safety Engineering for Design – Siting of Escape Lighting – Part 178

April 8, 2024 9:28 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 177, LWF talked about the siting of essential escape lighting. In part 178, we will look at the principal documents covering emergency lighting in the UK, before beginning to discuss additional escape lighting.

The main documents which cover the need for emergency lighting in different types of premises in the UK are:

Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (England and Wales)

Fire (Scotland) Act 2005

BS 9999 Fire safety in the design, management and use of buildings – Code of Practice

BS 5266 Emergency lighting – Code of Practice for the emergency lighting of premises

Building Regulations 2010 Approved Document B: Fire Safety (England)

Building Regulations 2010 Approved Document B: Fire Safety (Wales)

Technical Handbooks (Scotland) Section 2: Fire (Scottish Government)

Building Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012, Part E: Fire Safety


Additional Escape Lighting

When luminaires have been sited at the most essential spots (examples given in the last blog of this series include stairways, exits, corridors etc.) it is important that consideration be given to where additional luminaires should be placed. The following may or may not be applicable to a building in question.

Lift cars – although lifts are not usually considered as part of the escape route, emergency lighting is required in lifts as a failure of the normal lighting system may result in persons being stranded in a lift for whatever period of time the main power is subject to outage.

Moving stairs and walkways

Any toilet with area exceeding 8 m2 and any disabled person toilet or provision with baby-changing facilities

Any external areas in the immediate vicinity of exits. In cases where the identified place of safety following evacuation is distant from the lit building, the route to it should be treated as a part of the escape route for emergency lighting purposes.


In part 179 of LWF’s series on fire engineering we will talk about high-risk task areas and open plan and undefined areas of a building in the context of emergency 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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