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Emergency and exit lighting

Single point systems

Introduction

The purpose of this document is to assist the electrical industry to understand the specific requirements for the installation and maintenance of emergency escape lighting and illuminated emergency exit signage for buildings using AS 2293.1 – Emergency escape lighting and exit signs for building.

The standard’s objective is to provide a safeguard for occupants from injury, in an emergency by:

(a)        having adequate lighting; and

(b)        having adequate identification of exits and paths of travel to exits.

Application

AS 2293.1 is mandated as a normative reference (requirement) in AS/NZS 3000:2007+A2, Wiring Rules.

In Victoria AS/NZS 3000 as published is mandated through regulation 106 of the Electricity Safety (Installations) Regulations 2009 as the minimum requirement for electrical installation work.

AS 2293.1 Part 1 specifies the requirements for the system design, installation and operation for both central and single point systems and must be applied along with the requirements of the National Construction Code (Building Code of Australia) for the:

(a)        level of illumination for safe evacuation;

(b)        identification of exits and paths of travel to exits; and

(c)        performance requirements and verification methods.

AS 2293.2 Part 2 specifies the inspection and maintenance requirements.

AS 2293.3 Part 3 specifies the construction compliance of the emergency escape luminaries and exit signs.

Background

In the past, centrally supplied emergency systems were common, since the nineties single-point emergency lighting systems have progressively been installed. Before 2012, emergency lighting was only a Building Code of Australia requirement, however since the publication of Amendment 2 of AS/NZS 3000:2007, AS 2293.1 became normative. Single point emergency systems can be installed with three test facilities:

  • Manually operated test facility – the minimum requirement
  • Automated fully self-contained test facility
  • Automated fully centralised test facility

Installation requirements

The intent is to provide lighting when the loss of general lighting occurs to allow a person to vacate a section of or whole building. The design of the emergency lighting system is dependent on the building’s usage, size, and normal lighting design and could vary with the construction of walls and partitions. It is imperative that emergency lighting coordinates with the general lighting in that area.

Single point system with manually operated test facilities

Minimum requirements shall include Clause reference
Test facility shall be key operated 4.3.1 (c) of AS 2293.1
Test switch shall be capable of manual reset. But shall automatically revert to the normal state at the conclusion of the discharge test 4.3.1 (b) of AS 2293.1
Discharge test shall not disconnect supply to the normal lighting 4.3 of AS 2293.1
Failure of normal supply to any phase or final sub-circuit shall cause each self-contained emergency luminaire to be automatically connected to its emergency source 2.3.3.2 of AS 2293.1
Labelling of circuit-breakers, switches, fuses stating – “Warning: Interrupting supply will discharge emergency lighting batteries” 2.4 of AS 2293.1
Upon failure of the electrical supply to the normal lighting in an area, irrespective of whether or not it is illuminated, each relevant emergency escape luminaire and exit sign shall be energized from its emergency supply 2.3.1 of AS 2293.1
Labelling of test facility – “Emergency escape lighting and exit test switch” 4.3.1 (d) of AS 2293.1

Single point system with manually operated test facilities

Fully self-contained system minimum requirements shall include Clause reference
Provision shall be made on an automatic testing facility for any operator to undertake a discharge test at any time 4.3.2.1 of AS 2293.1
Test switch shall be capable of manually reset. But shall automatically revert to the normal state at the conclusion of the discharge test 4.3.1 (b) of AS 2293.1
Discharge test shall not disconnect supply to the normal lighting 4.3 of AS 2293.1
Failure of normal supply to any phase or final sub-circuit shall cause each self-contained emergency luminaire to be automatically connected to its emergency source 2.3.3.2 of AS 2293.1
Labelling of circuit-breakers, switches & fuses – “Warning: Interrupting supply will discharge emergency lighting batteries” 2.4 of AS 2293.1
Upon failure of the electrical supply to the normal lighting in an area, irrespective of whether or not it is illuminated, each relevant emergency escape luminaire and exit sign shall be energized from its emergency supply 2.3.1 of AS 2293.1
Labelling of test facility – “Emergency escape lighting and exit test switch” 4.3.1 (d) of AS 2293.1
The system used to time the interval between successive discharge tests shall not be affected when normal supply is interrupted 4.3.2.1 of AS 2293.1
Labelling of circuit-breakers, switches & fuses – “Warning: Interrupting supply will discharge emergency lighting batteries” 2.4 of AS 2293.1
Upon failure of the electrical supply to the normal lighting in an area, irrespective of whether or not it is illuminated, each relevant emergency escape luminaire and exit sign shall be energized from its emergency supply 2.3.1 of AS 2293.1
Labelling of test facility – “Emergency escape lighting and exit test switch” 4.3.1 (d) of AS 2293.1
The system used to time the interval between successive discharge tests shall not be affected when normal supply is interrupted 4.3.2.1 of AS 2293.1

Single point system with centrally operated test facilities

Centralised test system minimum requirements shall include Clause reference
The relevant requirements for self-contained automatic discharge testing facilities in section 4 of AS 2293.3 shall apply, in addition to the following: 4.3.2.3 of AS 2293.1
Each luminaire shall be easily identified on the central controller 4.3.2.3(a) of AS 2293.1
Each luminaire shall be monitored during the test and indications shall be available from the central monitor or designated monitoring points 4.3.2.3(b) of AS 2293.1
Luminaires are tested at intervals as specified in AS 2293.2 4.3.2.3(c) of AS 2293.1
The communication system is fit for purpose and reliable and provides an indication at the controller of a communication failure 4.3.2.3(d) of AS 2293.1

Maintenance requirements

Emergency evacuation lighting systems shall be inspected and maintained in accordance with the relevant procedures specified in AS 2293.2. The inspection and maintenance procedures shall be carried out only by persons having the correct competency level suitable for the work.

Reference Clause 1.4.1of AS 2293.1

Initial test

A discharge test at least 16 hours after commissioning is required.

The battery discharge test time shall be not less than 1.33 times the minimum time (2 hours).

Reference Clauses 2.2.1 of AS 2293.1

In service test

Battery discharge test requires illumination for at least 90 minutes except where applicable by local laws.

Reference Clauses 2.2.2 of AS 2293.1

Alterations and additions

Any alterations or additions to an existing emergency lighting installation shall be carried out in accordance with AS 2293.1.

Where an addition or alteration to an existing installation will impair the operation of the existing installation, the relevant portion of that installation shall be brought into compliance with AS 2293.1.
Reference Clause 1.7 of AS 2293.1

Any alteration to an existing system that will impair the operation of the system will require the system to be upgraded to AS 2293.1.
Reference Clauses 4.3.1 (c) of AS 2293.1

Any repair to the system will require the system to be upgraded to AS 2293.1.
Reference Clauses 4.3.1 (c) of AS 2293.1

Test switch arrangement

test-switch-arrangement

Commonly asked questions

Question

What is the difference between a centrally supplied (emergency lighting) and a single-point (emergency lighting) system?

Answer

A centrally supplied (emergency lighting) system is emergency lighting in which a number of emergency luminaires, or exit signs, or both are supplied from a common power source (battery bank). Within a building there may be more than one power source, each of which supplies the emergency luminaires and exit signs in a particular section of the building.

Single-point (Emergency lighting system) system of emergency lighting employing only self-contained type emergency luminaires and the controls necessary for sensing failure of the normal supply and for changing over to the emergency supply, and vice versa.

 

Question

What do I need to do if I replace an emergency or exit light fitting?

Answer

If you replace a fitting with the same type in the same location and same wattage; you only need to change the fitting.

If you replace a fitting with an LED type – This is an alteration and you must comply with clause 1.7 of AS 2293.1 (install test switches).

 

Question

Do I need to be an electrician to replace a battery in an emergency luminaire?

Answer

Yes, if covers have to be removed exposing live parts, otherwise no.

 

Question

Do I need to be an electrician to replace an emergency luminaire that is connected via a plug and socket?

Answer

No.

 

Question

Do I need to be an electrician to repair emergency luminaires that are connected via a plug and socket while I am on site?

Answer

Yes, the repair or maintenance of electrical equipment on site is electrical installation work and requires the issue of a certificate of electrical safety for components above extra low voltage.

 

Question

Is the discharge test facility switch located on the emergency light fitting?

Answer

No, The discharge test facility switch is remote from the emergency luminaires and simulates the loss of supply to one or more normal lighting circuits for the purposes of testing.

 

These requirements are uncontrolled when printed.

Contact us

If you have any queries in relation to emergency and exit lighting, please contact ESV on 03 9203 9700 or by email at info@energysafe.vic.gov.au or contact our Electrical technical assistance line on (03) 9203 9700 and selecting option 2 from the menu system or emailing your query to ElectricalInstallationEnquiries@energysafe.vic.gov.au.