When is emergency & exit lighting required to be installed in a building?
On several occasions, I have been asked about the requirement for the installation of emergency lights in small (Class 6) retail buildings. When I say small I mean less than 500m2.
The Building Code of Australia (BCA) 2010 provides the deemed-to-satisfy requirements for the installation of Emergency Lighting and Exit Signs in Section E, Part E4.
Essentially for all Class 6 buildings over 100m2 require emergency lights; and all Class 6 buildings require at least one exit sign.
All required emergency lights and exit signs should must comply with Australian Standard AS 2293.1.
E4.2 Emergency lighting requirements
An emergency lighting system must be installed -
- in every fire-isolated stairway, fire-isolated ramp or fire-isolated passageway; and
- in every storey of a Class 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 building where the storey has a floor area more than 300 m2 -
- in every passageway, corridor, hallway, or the like, that is part of the path of travel to an exit; and
- in any room having a floor area more than 100 m2 that does not open to a corridor or space that has emergency lighting or to a road or open space; and
- in any room having a floor area more than 300 m2; and
- in every passageway, corridor, hallway, or the like, having a length of more than 6 m from the entrance doorway of any sole-occupancy unit in a Class 2 or 3 building or Class 4 part of a building to the nearest doorway opening directly to -
- a fire-isolated stairway, fire-isolated ramp or fire-isolated passageway; or
- an external stairway serving instead of a fire-isolated stairway under D1.8; or
- an external balcony leading to a fire-isolated stairway, fire-isolated ramp or fire-isolated passageway; or
- a road or open space; and
- in every required non fire-isolated stairway; and
- in a sole-occupancy unit in a Class 5, 6 or 9 building if -
- the floor area of the unit is more than 300 m2; and
- an exit from the unit does not open to a road or open space or to an external stairway, passageway, balcony or ramp, leading directly to a road or open space; and
- in every room or space to which there is public access in every storey in a Class 6 or 9b building if?
- the floor area in that storey is more than 300 m2; or
- any point on the floor of that storey is more than 20 m from the nearest doorway leading directly to a stairway, ramp, passageway, road or open space; or
- egress from that storey involves a vertical rise within the building of more than 1.5 m, or any vertical rise if the storey concerned does not admit sufficient light; or
- the storey provides a path of travel from any other storey required by (i), (ii) or (iii) to have emergency lighting; and
- in a Class 9a health-care building -
- in every passageway, corridor, hallway, or the like, serving a treatment area or a ward area; and
- in every room having a floor area of more than 120 m2 in a patient care area; and
- in every Class 9c aged care building excluding within sole-occupancy units; and
- in every required fire control centre.
In addition, the BCA also details the deemed-to-satisfy requirements for Exit Signs;
E4.5 Exit signs
An exit sign must be clearly visible to persons approaching the exit, and must be installed on, above or adjacent to each -
- door providing direct egress from a storey to -
- an enclosed stairway, passageway or ramp serving as a required exit; and
- an external stairway, passageway or ramp serving as a required exit; and
- an external access balcony leading to a required exit; and
- door from an enclosed stairway, passageway or ramp at every level of discharge to a road or open space; and
- horizontal exit; and
- door serving as, or forming part of, a required exit in a storey required to be provided with emergency lighting in accordance with E4.2.
About the Building Code of Australia
The Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) publishes the Building Code of Australia as part of the National Construction Code, and is a joint initiative of Australian Governments and including representatives of the building industry. You can purchase a subscription to the Building Code of Australia from the ABCB by visiting their web site: http://www.abcb.gov.au
Maintenance Essentials provides inspection, testing, maintenance and surveys of essential safety measures including emergency lighting and exit signs. For more information speak to a member of our team by calling 1300 30 88 22.