Every New Zealand business has to have an emergency plan as part of their health and safety requirements.
This could include planning for natural hazards such as earthquakes, which is especially important for Wellington and Wairarapa businesses. It may also include plans for health emergencies such as a medical event on site, or even for pandemics.
One part of emergency planning that can get overlooked is emergency lighting. In case of an earthquake or other event where you can easily lose power, emergency lighting can be essential for helping staff, clients, and anyone else on site to evacuate safely. If they are trying to descend a stairwell or find their way out of an unfamiliar building, it can make the situation much more scary, confusing, and dangerous.
What is emergency lighting?
Emergency lighting refers to any kind of lighting that is not connected to the main power grid, so therefore will still work in an emergency that results in a power outage. When the power goes out, these lights will automatically turn on using battery power.
The goal of emergency lighting is to help direct everyone on site out of the building safely and efficiently when there is zero visibility from the usual light sources.
These days, modern building codes regulate the use of emergency lighting, ensuring that properties have appropriate emergency lighting on the premises.
For example, if the power to a ten-storey building is knocked out and the elevators aren’t working, staff and anyone visiting the building will need to make their way down ten flights of stairs to exit the building. The stairs must therefore have appropriate emergency lighting on every flight to ensure the evacuation can be completed safely.
In other instances, emergency lighting might help light the way for people to exit a building. For example, green exit signs are commonplace for highlighting where the doorways are, even for those who are familiar with the space.
Why is emergency lighting important?
Emergency lighting is important for the health, safety, and wellbeing of your employees, yourself, and anyone who happens to be on the premises when the emergency occurs, such as clients and delivery people.
It ensures evacuations can be completed safely, rather than having panicked people try to run down several flights of stairs in the darkness, or get lost in a large warehouse or business centre.
It’s also important as part of your planning and communication with staff. Health and safety briefings should include mention of emergency contingencies such as lighting to ensure staff know what will happen should an event occur.
Checking on your emergency lighting
If you are unsure if your emergency lighting is still working and would like a professional to check the system, or if you would like to install or upgrade your emergency lighting, the team at BlackFox Electrical can help.
We specialise in lighting installations across the Wairarapa and Wellington regions, and can offer our services in commercial, industrial, and residential properties. Whether you need advice on which lights to install or where to install them, or simple installation, we are on hand to improve the safety of your business.
Don’t hesitate to contact our team at BlackFox Electrical to learn more about emergency lighting, or to request a free quote for your project.