Blake Fire and Security Systems

Emergency Lighting Signage - Read Before Buying To Avoid Legal Trouble

Date: 6 October 2017

To the average business owner, installing Emergency Lighting signage to comply with the law may seem like a walk in the park. Businesses think they are covered by employing a simple 4 step process such as:

  1. a quick Google search
  2. finding the best priced signs
  3. adding them to the basket and checking out
  4. sticking them up when they arrive

Easy peasy, right?

Think again. It's easy for busy business owners on a budget to get led astray when attempting DIY fire safety solutions.

In an emergency, people could get injured or worse if your DIY system doesn't comply with current regulations. This leaves you vulnerable to unlimited fines or a prison sentence...

If you stumbled across this article during step 1, the quick Google search, we urge you to read on. The following information could save you a great deal of legal trouble and avoid wasted money on cheap products.


Learn from their mistakes...

Just like everyone else in the world, you never think the worst will happen to you.

As a business owner or Responsible Person, it's your duty of care to ensure that all risks are kept to a minimum.

There's no telling when a freak accident could put your staff and visitors in danger and test the performance of your fire safety equipment.

If that day comes, it is critical that your Emergency Lighting system works properly and complies with the law to ensure your staff and visitors can safely escape.

Locked up for neglecting the rules

Not long ago, a Blackpool landlord was imprisoned for 18 months due to unsatisfactory fire safety systems, including Emergency Lighting violations. His hotel, now boarded up, was a death trap.

  • exit routes were blocked and some were even chained up!
  • smoke detectors were not working
  • fire alarm wiring was faulty
  • there was no proper Emergency Lighting signage

In the event of a fire, his guests would have to fumble around while trying to escape in the dark. Every minute they are trapped in the building, the deadly smoke is filling their lungs...

Fined for failing Emergency Lighting

Or how about the steel factory in Wales that was fined £200,000 after the Emergency Lighting failed to operate during an accident in which 300 tonnes of molten metal was spilled!

Multiple employees suffered severe burns as a result, one was even hospitalised. Imagine the consequences the factory would have faced if the workers were not as lucky...

Emergency lighting for business.jpg

It's easy for your business to fall foul of Emergency Lighting signage regulations

There's a lot more to Emergency Lighting than meets the eye and more than one way you can fall foul of your obligations:

  • failing to carry out a Fire Risk Assessment
  • failing to comply with current standards for Emergency Lighting installation
  • failing to comply with current standards for Emergency Lighting products
  • failing to comply with current standards for Emergency Lighting testing
  • failing to rearrange Emergency Lighting signage after refurbishments

Attempting a DIY installation is risky business to say the least. There are many lesser known regulations that only a professional, accredited installer would be aware of such as:

  1. the correct height to install internally and externally illuminated Emergency Lighting signage
  2. the light (lux) level requirements for each light depending on the position in your premises
  3. the rules regarding borrowed light in rooms such as toilets and kitchens
  4. the Photometric Design regulations that determine the space that should be left between each light

It's a whole new language...

Of course, this information can be found in technical and highly detailed guides, but are you willing to read those wordy tomes and risk misinterpreting the legislation?

Your best bet is to leave that job to the accredited professionals who undergo regular training and inspections. They will ensure everything - the design, the installation and the maintenance - is compliant with the law - and, therefore, so is your business!

What next?
If you're the Responsible Person, you need to read our guide to balancing budget and fire safety. Click the image below.

Balancing budget and fire safety for business owners

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This blog post is provided for general information only. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. Call Blake's on 01702 447800 to speak to one of our professionals for specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content on our site.

Although we make reasonable efforts to update the information on our site, we make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content on our site is accurate, complete or up to date.

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