Who is responsible for the security of your property?

Published 24 Feb 2023

The organization Belysningsbranschen and the working group Safety through Emergency Lighting (FSN) have on several occasions carried out studies on how the situation looks in public buildings when it comes to emergency lighting. The studies have been about looking more closely at whether the emergency lighting works and whether the supervision of property owners and authorities has been satisfactory. The results of the surveys have been disappointing. All too often the emergency lighting has been completely out of order and the main reason has been judged to be the negligence of the property owners in carrying out the necessary checks.

- We have also seen that supervision and current regulations are not followed in public buildings and facilities, says Anders Adelin, newly appointed product manager for the emergency lighting area at KAMIC. If you look at this question fundamentally, emergency lighting is ultimately about securing the escape routes and saving lives. If the ongoing control is not taken care of according to the existing rules, properties can become pure death traps if the accident is imminent, says Anders.

Emergency lighting is a safety product and is prescribed today in all public environments such as schools, hospitals, hotels, shops, parking garages, work and meeting rooms, etc. The aim is, of course, to easily find the escape routes in the event of a danger such as fire, smoke, gas emissions, bomb or terrorist threats. Even a simple power outage can be a reason for evacuation. But it doesn't just have to be about evacuation. The emergency lighting must also provide enough light to be able to finish important shutdown procedures which in themselves can become a danger if they are allowed to continue. The same relationship applies to fire and other safety equipment, it must be able to be found when danger is present.

Governing laws and requirements

It is the Housing Agency, the Work Environment Agency, the Electrical Safety Agency and the Swedish Rescue Agency's laws and requirements that govern where and how emergency lighting must be installed. Swedish Standard and FSN provide advice and recommendations on the issues. When it comes to maintenance and functional tests, there are a number of parameters that are important to follow. Technology today has made it easier to see if an emergency light arm is faulty or broken. Emergency lighting systems with central or remote monitoring make it easier to monitor larger facilities if you compare, for example, with smaller premises where the fixtures usually have to be controlled manually. The possibility of self-testing at the luminaire level is still a good solution.

- Most emergency lighting fixtures on the market today are equipped with a self-test function, which makes it easier to detect errors in both electronics and batteries, says Anders Adelin. In cases where there are errors or other deviations, the luminaire indicates this via a flashing LED and the problem can be rectified, says Anders.

Log book for running notes

When a facility is put into operation, in accordance with the Swedish Standard, there must be drawings showing the entire emergency lighting installation. These must be signed by the person in charge and kept in the property as confirmation that the facility's installation meets the Swedish Standard. A logbook for ongoing notations of routine checks, tests, errors and deficiencies must also be drawn up and saved in a similar way for the future. A way to ensure that tests and ongoing checks are carried out as intended.

- It is you as the property owner who has the ultimate responsibility for checks and tests being carried out. If you have a temporary or permanent tenant in a premises, the task and responsibility passes on to them, Anders points out.

The regulations regarding testing intervals for emergency lighting look like this:

1.) If the requirement is at least 1 hour of emergency light operation, the system must be tested for at least 15 minutes every month.

2.) In addition to the monthly check, the luminaires must also be capacity tested for 1 hour, once a year, i.e. 100% emergency operation to see the function and condition of the batteries.

If you want more knowledge about why, how and where emergency lighting should be installed and maintained, contact our back office employees on +46 54-57 01 20 who can tell you more.

More news