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Peace of mind

ICEL, the emergency lighting arm of LIF, believes that benchmarking emergency lighting luminaires reduces risk when specifying emergency lighting and ensures that, through compliance, luminaire performance has been independently verified. Bernard Pratley, technical manager at ICEL, explains: ‘Under the Fire Safety Order (FSO), Fire Protection Officers (FPOs) use their powers of enforcement where fire protection and emergency lighting systems have been found wanting. The responsible person has to risk assess their premises by checking fire safety equipment. He or she must also demonstrate, if challenged – possibly in a court of law – that the fire safety equipment, including emergency lighting, meets essential requirements. The benefits of benchmarking are therefore clear; the equipment is fit for purpose.’ If an ICEL member company supplies an emergency lighting luminaire for benchmarking, it means that upon successful completion of the BS EN 60598-2-22 tests, the submitted emergency luminaire, its manufacturer and the manufacturer’s performance claims have been independently approved. ICEL also, and uniquely, benchmarks emergency lighting batteries. ‘BS 5266 (emergency lighting, the code of practice for the emergency lighting of premises) offers simple guidance on the positioning of emergency luminaires, minimum light levels, acceptable glare levels together with minimum routine testing schedules,’ explains David Wright, managing director of Emergency Lighting Products. To comply with the latest regulations, those individuals responsible will have to ensure that all emergency lighting is routinely tested and that every test and any subsequent maintenance actions are recorded. The minimum assessment will


comprise monthly checks to ensure that each emergency luminaire starts and operates normally when the power fails. In addition, annual tests are also required to check that every luminaire starts and operates normally, and then continues to operate for the full rated duration. This is normally three hours. ‘Many of the low cost products currently available on the market do not comply with the luminaire safety and performance standard BS EN60598.2.22. These will most probably fail completely within 12-18 months,’ says Wright. Products should be sourced from companies, like Emergency Lighting Products, who operate ISO9000 quality systems and

manufacture equipment that complies with BS EN60598.2.22. These companies will also be committed to the additional safety and performance criteria imposed by being members of ICEL and will therefore provide emergency lighting products guaranteed to have a long reliable life and which require minimal maintenance. Self-testing products can ease the

burden of the routine test requirements by automatically initiating the monthly and annual tests and then indicating any faults. Lamp operation is checked by current sensors or light detectors. Faults are generally indicated via coloured LEDs and sometimes by a buzzer. The systems

A1 Lighting looks at the latest developments in the emergency lighting sector, and the necessity for regular testing.

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