Are emergency lighting systems for for purpose?
Published: 17 February 2020 - Carly Wills
A provider of building management services is urging facilities and building managers with responsibility for educational establishments to ensure their emergency lighting systems are ‘fit for purpose’ - following a spate of high-profile incidents.
The call for action from building controls specialist Abtec Building Technologies (Abtec BT) comes following a spate of well publicised safety related closures of schools and university accommodation blocks across the UK. Notably, students in Bournemouth were recently given the option to leave their accommodation after a series of hazards were discovered, with inspectors expressing concerns over the fire doors, sprinkler systems, emergency lighting and the fire alarm system.
Incidents such as this have placed a much needed spotlight on the need for more integrated approaches to secure, robust emergency lighting reporting solutions.
Abtec BT, who launched a new software as a service (SaaS) offering – ARGOHub – in 2019, believes too many buildings in the education sector reman ill-equipped with outdated emergency lighting systems and testing practices. This means they are not fit for purpose and cannot be relied upon in the event of an incident
Fully supportive of the current industry standards, ARGOHub can be tested in accordance with BS EN 50172:2004/BS 5266-1:2016, which specify the minimum provision and testing of emergency lighting for different premises.
“Emergency lighting is about more than the luminaires. From school and college buildings to student accommodation, building managers must be sure they can control, monitor and test their emergency lighting systems with ease and confidence,” says Dave Watkins, director of Abtec Building Technologies. “It is very worrying that once again, the integrity of emergency lighting in the sector is being questioned. It absolutely vital that all those with responsibility take a good at their existing system and ask themselves whether they it is truly fit for purpose.”