Why Do We Need Emergency Lighting?

Tue Mar 19, 2019

It’s easy to take things for granted. When something isn’t used for a while or often, it tends to be forgotten. But that doesn’t mean it’s not important. Case in point, emergency lighting. It’s required in every public building such as offices, movie theaters, malls, stores, hospitals, etc. yet it’s probably rarely noticed. However, when an emergency does occur, is when it truly shines as a beacon of hope. Emergency lighting can be the difference between safety and danger, and even life and death. Learning more about it will help to increase the awareness of its importance.


What is Emergency Lighting?

Emergency lighting comes in different forms, namely exit signs and standby lighting. Exit signs are the most well-known form of emergency lighting, illuminated in either red or green lettering. It must be present in buildings due to requirements and regulations by OSHA. There are four different types of exit signs to choose from: thermoplastic, self-luminous, photoluminescent, and edge lit. Standby lighting is lighting used during power outages, providing temporary illumination. For standby lighting, there are five types: thermoplastic, steel, wet location, architectural, and hazardous locations.  


Why is Emergency Lighting Important?

The purpose of emergency lighting is to provide illumination during times of crisis so that people are able to see clearly, avoid obstacles, and move toward the nearest exit efficiently. Because of this, it is designed to stay illuminated in the event of a power outage. Emergency lighting not only benefits those in emergency situations, such as civilians, but also those whose job it is to help: first responders. Emergency lighting can help guide them through buildings, especially in the event that their vision is impaired from elements of the emergency. Because the lighting is easily identifiable, first responders are able to get in and out in an efficient way.


Emergency Lighting and OSHA

OSHA was created to assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance. In doing so, all buildings must comply with standards set by OSHA in order to be considered safe and up-to-code. Having an emergency lighting system is required for all public and commercial buildings in order to adhere to regulations put in place by OSHA. This protects the people who frequent these places in the event of an emergency or power outage.