Emergency Lighting BIM4Housing Roundtables 27-06-2023

RICHARD …these roundtables are primarily to update the work we did 18 months ago. There’s a slight different take on it, particularly on question 2 on the information side of things. What we have had over the last 6 meetings is half of the people on the call are actually new, so apologies to the oldens, but we’re going to have a quick 10 minutes as contextualisation and historical piece from George, just to give everyone who’s new some idea of where we’ve been, where we’re heading and what we’re hoping to do.

GEORGE (shares screen). I’m initially just going to explain to people that aren’t aware what we’ve been doing with BIM4housing. When we took over responsibility for it about 3 years ago we were keen to move it away from thinking about BIM as being 3D modelling to transform it into better information management, and the way in which we’ve done that is by looking at the information that’s needed for each of the different elements of owning buildings, either developing them, designing them, building them, manufacturing the parts that go in to them, consultancy and also operations. So each of those within BIM4Housing we’ve got quite a strong stakeholder group that meets every 2 months. For example, we’ve got a construction group meeting and a design group meeting over the next couple of weeks and those cycle every 8 weeks. And the purpose of them is to identify what information is needed by each of those different stakeholder groups to improve the flow of information.

The way in which we go about that is to create a workstream for particular topics, one of the ones that’s enduring across them is data. So how can we make it so that data can flow through those processes and the way we go about doing that is by trying to standardise data requirements and provide data templates, those are the sort of outputs that we’ve achieved. The workstreams only run for a couple of months and then ideally they produce an output that everybody can use. We’ve done the same with process, fire safety and the purpose of these sessions over this week and last week is to actually look at the fire safety critical asset types that we published 18 months ago. We’re doing a lot with carbon and also with digital records. That’s what BIM4~Housing is doing and one of the challenges is looking at what information is needed for buildings, systems, assets and if you ask people they’ve all got a slightly different perspective as to whether they’re involved in design and specification or delivery, or indeed maintenance and updating.

So part of the exercise is to recognise that different people have got different information requirements and different levels of detail is needed. And also to be able to identify which of that information could be delivered as documents and which of it is going to change and therefore needs to be kept up to date or is active. Part of this exercise is to make sure that things like the fire risk assessment and safety case reports are recognised as being a snapshot in time and therefore, if things change, the risk assessment needs to be rerun and also it needs to tie back to individual records of assets, not creating even more golden threads. So just to give an example of that, you might have a QR code or something on a door and that needs to tie back to the individual door, but importantly, the data about the door. So the information requirements for that door in that context should be defined. You can then put that information into a product library, so it becomes reusable, and also things like data sheets that go into O&Ms can then come from that. So what we're trying to do is is glue things together and also provide the context.

So if somebody is using an application like Plan Radar to go along and do fire door inspections or Riskbase or Hilti or Civica CX, all of these great applications are gathering data, but what we want to do is make sure that they’re all tied back to the same unique asset because what we don’t want is different records to be held in different databases that actually need humans to pull them together. And what we’ve trying to do is to make the You can then put that information into a product library so it becomes reusable and also things like data sheets that go into earns can then come from that. O what we're trying to do is glue things together and also play it provide the context. So if somebody is using an application like plan radar to go along and do is to make the information machine-readable, so just to put the context of that. the majority of the information is perfectly OK to be delivered as a PDF document, but things like fire rating, it may be better if we could have that information in machine-readable format. So, a human would need to read this or this data sheet, or this data sheet, because they’re describing the fire resistant properties in different ways, that a human can read and interpret but computers can’t. So that information we’d like to hold as active data or variable data.

To try and got on top of all of this, about 3 years ago we started working with HACT (Housing Association Charitable Trust) and lots of other experts to actually produce some standardised data templates that can be used for existing buildings and also new buildings. If we do that then it unlocks the data and really that’s the purpose of BIM4Housing, to make data interoperable, so irrespective of which software applications you use you’ve got the right data. This is an example of the work that we’ve done, this was the work in progress, you’ll see here we agreed a set of standard descriptions for asset types, this was a number of housing associations and councils came together to share their information on this. We’ve already mapped them against Uniclass and also against IFC which is the BIM standard, and we’ve got a description against them, so all of this now we’re managing in databases. But it also means that what you’re also able to do is where, for example, you’ve got several different ways of describing an asset those can all be held in the database so you don’t end up with multiple assets, it’s the same thing just being called something different. We actually identified that 71 of the asset types that we complied were fire related and 152 covered safety more widely.

Just to put some sort of substance behind the data, you might here us talk about COBie data, which is the international standard for handover information, and the majority of people are just looking at what we call standard COBie data, so this is a common way of any product, any material being described. So these are the standards, but what we then want to do is find out what information do we need to have about an AOV or a fire door or an emergency light or a damper. That’s attribute information which is over and above the standard product data and deciding which attributes we should be using, that’s the purpose of this subject matter expert group today, is to identify what information do we really need. You might think that the BIM system would have it all, but it hasn’t: unless you ask for it won’t be there. We’ve got libraries called IFCs to manage this, CIBSE have got their own information and they contributed to BS8644 which is the new Firey standard. We’ve got the cost managers NRM and also distribution organisations, the big merchants, they use something called ETIM.

So all of these are relevant and appropriate but it’s a matter of finding out what’s important for assets of this type. Here, this is an AOV and a lot of this information, although this comes through from the BIM standard, probably isn’t relevant to FM people or people that are doing inspections, but some of it might be so we want to try and filter that out and therefore deliver it in ways that can then be collected. So the exercise that we’re doing today is building on the work we did under the Golden Thread Initiative which was led by L&Q. We were responsible for the Asset and Survey Information activities and what we were trying to do was simplify things by asking experts like you what information do we need, and invariably the answer was ‘it depends’. It depends on where that emergency lighting is going, what the fire strategy is for the building, a whole range of different contextual questions. But the fundamental thing that everybody comes back to is that it has to comply with building regs, but that in itself is a challenge because building regs themselves refer to 800 standards, we’ve got people like Jim on the call here who actually writes those standards, but they themselves require a lot of interpretation. So if we can actually simplify it by saying, OK, there’s 250 asset types, what do we need to know about those asset types in certain contexts.

So the exercise that we’ve gone through over the last 18 months, or before the last 108 months (we published these then), was for these key asset types and that’s the exercise that we’re going through here, to identify what information is needed about, let’s say, a fire door. And we try to put some sort of context behind it, this was the HSE’s guidance, to say, right, you’ve got a hazard, a fire breaks out in a kitchen, what are the measures that have been put in place to mitigate them? It might be compartmentation, it might be smoke control, it might be detection, it also would be signage and how do we achieve effective safe escape routes. The critical thing about this is that each individual asset may be perfect but it’s got to really work in the context of a complete system. So that’s what we’re really trying to get to.

This is the guidance that we’re going to go through and I just wanted to explain that the methodology that we’re using is to, for each of the asset types, to identify what the risk is that’s being mitigated, what do people do the emergency lighting to stop it from performing, what information do we need to know about it to ensure that it performs (and that’s the one I’m particularly interested in), but then also what tasks, procedures should we be asking people to report to ensure that they’re doing it properly, what levels of competency need to be in place and also how should product changes be recorded. That’s what we’re going to be going through over the next hour or so.

RICHARD Just let me say right at the top: use the chat. The meeting is recorded, we do a highpoints document of all the most important points raised which include what’s in the chat. Sometimes I’ll ask you to put things in the chat so we don’t miss it. I’m going to be really focused to move through this, if something interesting comes up that’s adjacent I’m going to ask you to hold it and we’ll try and have 10 minutes at the end to cover those kind of things. What are the component elements of an emergency lighting system? Is there anything that’s missing or should be amended? OK. Are there any dependencies on other systems? Anything else that would be a dependency?

PETER THORNS The one bit that you might want to think about is if you use photoluminescent signage there is a dependency because it depends upon the luminaire close to it for charging.

JIM CREAK That’s not necessarily so, it doesn’t mean close at all. Photoluminescence excites as low as 25 lux which is way, way, way below the ambient lighting in any built environment for health and safety purposes, so that’s not entirely true and it’s a myth.

PETER THORNS Well, it’s still dependent on a light source.

JIM CREAK Well, emergency lighting is dependent on electricity, emergency lighting is dependent on there not being any smoke, so we can go round and round in circles, but you can’t single photoluminescence out as a function of, because it’s excited by day light so it’s an anathema to actually separate it as needing something when it doesn’t. All signing requires illumination, most emergency lighting signs today are externally illuminated, not internally illuminated, so the same thing applies, so it’s an anathema.

PETER THORNS As soon as you externally illuminate the sign it’s got a dependency.

JIM CREAK Every sign has dependency on illumination.

PETER THORN It’s whether you want to include that dependency or not, that’s a different discussion.

JIM CREAK We’re not putting it in for ordinary lights either for externally illuminated ones like blade signs that are not internally illuminated. All of this stuff has to be maintained.

RICHARD OK, what risks does an emergency lighting system mitigate? Trips, slips and falls.

JAREK WITYK I would say it doesn’t really mitigate anything because there’s a reactive rather than a proactive measure and it aids evacuation by reducing panic, by provision of anti-panic lighting and aids evacuation by provision of emergency escape lighting at a sufficient level, but I can’t really see that it mitigates anything.

RICHARD Well, if you can’t see, you’re going to fall over, aren’t you? So it mitigates the risk of falling over, by definition.

JAREK WITYK Depends how you want to look at it. Yeah, I can agree with this.

RICHARD Question 1b: To what risks are emergency lighting systems susceptible? So what can happen to an emergency lighting system that stops it from working optimally?

JAREK WITYK Poor maintenance and incomplete or poor commissioning.

GEORGE Yeah, we’ve got maintenance on there I think, definitely agree with the commissioning.

PETER THORNS Whether you want incorrect operations, so it is possible to do hold off circuits when the building is empty. If you don't effectively use them when you come back in, you can leave the building without any emergency lighting because you haven’t put it back in operation.

JAREK WITYK I’ve got one more: coordination of the drain down tests. If you have automatic lighting control systems or self test luminaires that would typically vary the time that individual luminaires are being tested, but when you’ve got like a standard system you basically turn off all the lighting for 3 hours and if later during the next say 12 hours you will have an emergency situation the lights may not last the duration. So coordination of the test procedure, maybe, I don’t know how to label it.

GEORGE I think that whole thing about commissioning is so important.

RICHARD What about poor, substandard installation? This is more about, even with the commissioning part, this is more about the things in situ, what can happen to it or stop it working. It’s not really about commissioning. OK, let’s go onto question 2. What information is needed about emergency lighting systems to ensure they conform as required?

GEORGE One of the things we did last time around, in particular at Digital Construction Week, was to try and look at this from a point of view of it’s all very well having all of this information, but who actually produces it, who’s responsible for it, who needs to be made aware of it. What we tired to do is use the standard RACI methodology to actually identify that. There’s an exercise that we want to do of saying, right, for emergency lighting who, for example, is responsible for making sure that the fire safety strategy is there and is interpreted. Who’s responsible for recording the installation date or whatever. What I’d like to ask is if people are interested in that, either from a data perspective. Everybody’s got a different take on things, some people enjoy looking at the data side of things, others will be looking at process and another will be looking at how those processes and data are going to be applied.

This is a shout out now for you to put into the chat whether this is something that you’re willing to follow up with in another session to go through this exercise with us to say who’s going to be responsible for these areas, so fill out the RACI with that. So if you put your name into the chat just to say whether you’re interested in data or process or whatever, that would be helpful. The other thing I’d like to highlight is this static or variable, or passive or active data. What I want to try and do is understand, for example, as technical specification sheet, that’s probably going to be fixed to a particular product and therefore that’s static data, whereas the commissioning information will be variable. So if we can sort the wood out form the trees by identifying whether information is going to be static or variable that would be helpful.

RICHARD Question 2: What information is needed about emergency lighting systems to ensure they perform as required? We’ve got quite a long list there.

JIM CREAK While people are thinking about that, I’m not happy with the paragraph that’s gone in regarding normal illumination on signs because it’s not specific enough under emergency lighting. It’s not on this one, it’s going back to the lighting on signs. It’s back on question 1.

There’s one more, luminesce level required.

JAREK WITYK And this in turn links to a fire strategy where the high risk areas should be identified, but they never are.

PETER THORNS You've got to be careful. Signage has a luminance level, but the lighting of emergency escape routes and open areas is based on illuminance. So you might also want illuminance level required because actually that’s what the standards have in.

JIM CREAK Yeah, but illumination gives luminance. So we want to know what the luminance level is required at any given point whether the vertical or horizontal. That’s a risk assessor’s job.

PETER THORNS But the standards don't contain that. You'll get a number and I've got no problem with that, but what do you compare it to?

RICHARD Jarek, you said something should be included, but never is.

JAREK WITYK So the standard have a specific illuminance required for high risk areas as per the S75TO66? 33mins 26secs I think. But those high risk areas are never specified.

GEORGE That’s a really good point, high risk areas need to be identified.

PETER THORNS You also have a new classification that’s effectively stay-put lighting. And that is a level of light that says if the electricity supply fails, but you don’t need to evacuate the building, how much light do you need so it can stay safely, and that will be in the new standard.

RICHARD So, the information required would be how much light was needed.

PETER THORNS Effectively you’ll have a classification that is stay-put lighting. So if the electricity supply fails, but it’s not an evacuation situation it might be safer to stay where you are. So therefore the battery backup lighting has to give you an amount of light to keep you safe. That’s defined in the draft new EN1838.

PAUL BRAY I was interested in the stay-put lighting scenario because that does have an impact on housing providers as recently. When I first started with PCH in 2019, they were putting in a massive new emergency escape lighting system into an open balcony block of flats because it was to comply with the revision of the British Standard 5266, 2016. And that's where it's brought in the stay-put emergency lighting, not for fire but in case of primary lighting failure. SO it’s in there, I’ve got a handout not for the major changes. It’s about the timescale that the lighting needs to stay there. I’ll comment in the chat room.

RICHARD If anybody’s got anything that’s not directly involved with this document we’ve got an appendix for interesting pieces or papers or published works that support anything that’s been said. So, do let us have that so that we can put it in the appendix. Has anybody else got anything to add into this list now?

JAREK WITYK There is ambiguity in the standards in relation to requirements for emergency lighting in a toilet cubicle.

RICHARD Would that be almost an addendum in question 1b? Because it’s a risk, isn’t it?

GEORGE Yeah, it’s not a risk that people are doing to stop it from working. I think that should be in 2, it will be part of the…

RICHARD Jarek’s talking about ambivalence…so what would be the information that should be defined, Jarek?

JAREK WITYK The standard in my opinion needs to be less ambiguous because when you look at the standards, if the toilet facility is less than 8 square meters without borrowed light then you need emergency lighting. But then if you have emergency lighting, let’s say in a lobby outside the cubicle, and the cubicle has a full height door you’re basically sitting in a dark box without any lighting. And in those situations people on various projects sometimes have emergency lights, sometimes they haven’t, and this is then down to building control to accept or not, and this is a grey area.

RICHARD So what would be the information requirement then?

JAREK WITYK An addition to the standard in the form of clarification that in the situation where the cubicle has no borrowed light it needs emergency lighting, or not. It’s one or the other because it is ambiguous.

JIM CREAK This seems to be very prescriptive tonight. I mean, we might as well just say 5266 because there is no risk element in asking these questions because it’s saying this is what you do, 15 lux may be required, well where did that come from? It can from 5266, but it’s not necessarily suitable and sufficient. And I thought we were actually trying to help people go through the process of risk assessment, not tell them the confines of a prescriptive regime.

RICHARD No, but if something has been prescribed in that document then it’s an information requirement as well, isn’t it? We can’t just leave it out.

JIM CREAK Yeah, but we’ve got this statement in writing here as detailed in prEN 1838. What is the definition? Are we talking about the residential part of the building? Or are we talking about the common areas? You can’t put a paragraph out of context. To me it’s just a whole bunch of very prescriptive paragraphs now. You can leave in, that’s fine, but I think it’s more confusing than it is helpful.

JAREK WITYK Are we not identifying problems first to then be able to provide guidance?

JIM CREAK Well, we can refer people to guidance, if the guidance is already there. That’s what they should be looking at, they shouldn’t necessarily be looking at paragraphs out of context.

GEORGE One of the challenges is in the building regs there are 800 standards that people are supposed to be interpreting…

JIM CREAK Sure, I’m not saying that’s right, that’s why I’m suggesting that we should bring some of the things up that need to be considered because then they can go to…because with search routines today you can read the whole part of that thing, but not where each one of these bullet points is almost a prescription.

GEORGE Yeah, sadly you cant do that anymore because of the way the British Standards are being published, but that’s another matter.

JIM CREAK Again, I’m sorry to say it, but what’s a high-risk area? If we don’t define it then we may be saying 15 lux is required right the way through the building.

JAREK WITYK That is the problem with the standards, they don’t define clearly the high-risk areas.

JIM CREAK …the risk assessor, but we’ve already done that by saying the risk assessment does have to pay particular attention to the guidance applicable to an arrangement. As I say, if it’s what everybody wants then I’ll go along with it, but I’m not happy.

JAREK WITYK I mention this because although everyone is supposed to know about it, no one pays attention to it and it’s just never done and it’s always ambiguous and no one knows what the high-risk areas are that we’re talking about in that particular item. No one knows where that is, it’s not defined.

GEORGE I entirely support what Jarek is saying because even that there are areas, the areas aren’t properly defined, Jim, in BIM models, for example, so I think it’s an important thing. At end of the day this is guidance to prompt people to…

PAUL BRAY The approved documents do give kind of a definition about what’s high-risk areas. So it just depends where you’re looking, but the Approved Document B Volume 1 which is for dwellings (including flats) talks about any high-risk areas being heating machinery, but it also talks about kitchens and places like that, so it’s what you would class as not a normal area, not a corridor, but like maybe a kitchen or production room or things like that when we’re talking about commercial. They’ve for 3 definitions. Any high-risk area…machinery, particular hazard, places of special fire risk. So that’s what I’d go to as my starting point.

JIM CREAK I totally agree with you, that’s why we should be putting this in here, but bearing in mind Approved Document B is guidance as well, so it’s not legislation. So I understand, so why not put Approved Document B as being the best guidance for this.

PAUL BRAY But again I’d say it’s what a reasonable person would interpret as being high-risk, so it’s not what one person, but a reasonable person, because if you work in a high-risk industry you may not class high-risk as the same as what a person who doesn’t work in a high-risk industry. Is a kitchen high-risk?

JIM CREAK It’s a competent risk assessor, but anyway.

RICHARD Question 3: What tasks are required to ensure that emergency lighting systems are installed, commissioned, inspected and maintained properly? Let’s look at installation first.

JAREK WITYK This is a bit scarce, let’s put it that way. There’s many angles looking at this, again I don’t know what we’re trying to achieve, but for example, it needs to be installed as per design and checked whether it it installed as per design, in quantity and locations for example, including exit signage, the legend whether it’s correct and so on, that adds value to this point.

RICHARD It’s under commissioned, Jarek, it shouldn’t be, it should be under installation.

JAREK WITYK Yeah. There’s one more practical installation problem. Quite often when you have corridor emergency escape lighting it’s directional and sometimes those standalone 3 hours emergency lights are fitted with the wrong direction and significantly reducing their range.

RICHARD So that needs to be checked. Jiss, delete commissioned. It says here to test and commission both photometrically and electrically as necessary the system and provide all as fitted documentation in line with the actually installed installation and to handover the system to the client. Would that cover your point, Jarek?

PAUL BRAY I’m going on about what I raised in the area of question 2 because we talk about in the install but it says the designer to design an emergency lighting system in accordance with the responsible person’s risk assessment. I think we need to put and/or the fire strategy for the building because the responsible person’s fire risk assessment won’t necessarily be done in a building that’s occupied. There’s two schools of thought, a the design stage.

PETER THORNS The big thing that’s always missing when you design emergency lighting is no one tells you where any of the emergency equipment is. So you’re supposed to highlight emergency call points, emergency equipment, fire fighting equipment, and nobody ever tells you and they do it at the last minute.

PAUL BRAY Yeah, a lot of the time, I deal with plans for developments and you look at it and the architect and designer have already identified where they think their fire alarm systems might go, call points and emergency escape lighting, usually in accordance with what they believe to be the design principles of the British Standards and sometimes they get it wrong. But that’s the outline interpretation of their drawing in the first place, so it’s usually captured in the fire strategy and then you’ll never be able to completely specify where each unit goes because you have to know the building better and I think that’s what, Jim will be aware of that. You’re talking about what the light levels are going to be, where the furniture is etc. So, it’s just making sure it’s in accordance with what’s the fire strategy for the building for a new build or a complete redesign, perhaps.

JIM CREAK I’ve still got a problem in respect to, I honestly do think that Approved Document B is the best source, but then we’re making it very specific here that we refer to emergency lighting standards, yet we’re only mentioning one. And obviously best practice documentation is very loose, I prefer guidance to be quite specific for the reasons other people have already said, you don’t want to be too vague about these things.

GEORGE Shall we mention Approved Document B in there, Jim, would that help?

JIM CREAK I think using appropriate guidance is fine because it means that there has got to be another search otherwise you’re going to have to have a great big list of acknowledgements and other documents to read….put in one, we’ve already mentioned prEN 1838, yet it doesn’t even get a mention down here. I do agree with the model completion certificate and the model certificate, they’re very good sources of information because if you look at those you can see what types of tests you could. But as I say, I don't think it should reference a specific standard because risk assessors are supposed to be making variations to that standard for a start, because that's what doing a fire strategy is all about.

RICHARD So you think it’s better to take out any identifiable standards.

JIM CREAK Put the onus on the competence to use appropriate standards and best practice documentations.

GEORGE Could we say that as ‘such as’?

JIM CREAK Why do we need to do that, because you’ve got plenty of acknowledgements for these things anyway, anyone reading this can effectively delve in even further.

GEORGE How would they now where to get that information, have we got that in here at all?

JIM CREAK Well I don’t think we need it in here. We haven't defined that in signs, but earlier on in the other questions. So we're not going to define the standard throughout. As you say, there's 800 of them they can choose from. The risk assessor should, if he’s going to design a system, and it says with the responsible person’s risk assessment, and/or is a bit vague for me because it’s and the fire safety strategy because they have to have a fire safety strategy. And using appropriate standards and guidance as a baseline to ensure safe escape from the building. It’s down to them. It all falls around what the risk assessment says, that’s the basis of arrangements in the building, the risk assessment. That’s the legal requirement.

PAUL BRAY Jim, I’m a risk assessor as well as a consultant, but I would never define or design an emergency escape lighting system for a building. I would be saying the emergency escape lighting system needs to be installed in accordance with BS5266 standard.

JIM CREAK So you actually prescribe an emergency light over every first aid box then.

PAUL BRAY I would do it in accordance with that and then you’re allowed variations, so it would be in accordance…

JIM CREAK That’s what I just said and I agree with you…

PAUL BRAY You’re allowed variations on all the British Standards.

JIM CREAK Yes, and you should set them as a risk assessor.

PAUL BRAY I may have a conversation with somebody about whether or not that would be required over every first aid box, but I’m not a designer of fire alarms and emergency lighting systems. So that’s where the risk assessor or even the architect and the person who writes the fire strategy for the building would be reliant on somebody who’s competent in that design. So you’re relying on a competent person doing the design.

JIM CREAK Yes, we’re in total agreement.

PAUL BRAY Yeah, but my point I was trying to say earlier is if we’re at the risk assessment stage of deciding that the emergency lighting system needs to be installed sometime has been missed along the line because it should either already be there or maybe there’s been a change in the standards or you’re doing a refurb of the building, so you’re reviewing it. You wouldn’t ordinarily retrospectively be installing emergency lighting in a building unless it had been identified from a health and safety reason or a fire risk assessment process, but you rarely retrospectively install systems to meet current standards, it’s not a given thing.

JIM CREAK I agree. But that’s what I’m saying, it’s why it should be open, it says using appropriate standards and best practice documentation or guidance documentation, because it allows all of those variations.

RICHARD It says that, doesn’t it?

JIM CREAK No, it doesn’t, it says BS5266 Part 1 emergency lighting and Part 1 code of practice for emergency lighting.

PAUL BRAY Just one more point. What you would normally have put in, because in the old days when we were in Europe you’d be able to apply European and even American standards, so the appropriate phrase we used to use ‘or equivalent’, so you’re looking for equivalence across the board. So if you quote BS5266 then you said ‘or equivalent standard, so you could use American standards or European standards, providing it met the requirements of making the building safe for its use or occupation.

RICHARD Jiss, where it says ‘and/or’ take out ‘or and the slash. Right, so that’s now general and non-committal. On that same line make it say ‘using the appropriate’. So we’re saying we want to delete, from BS5266, that whole section. Or are we saying we want to add ‘or equivalent’?

GEORGE I think ‘or equivalent’.

PETER THORNS The reason they were put in is because they aren't copyright and those parts of the standard, are free to copy. So that was the only reason the annexes were put in because of there for you to copy and use as you wish. And it’s also probably worth noting that we’ve had Brexit, but in the standards world we’re still part of Europe, so BSI negotiated a special membership with SEN to stay within the European Standards system so we still follow European standards.

RICHARD Right, inspected and maintained. Maintainer to be responsible for the ongoing inspection. Where it says ‘includes the following’, Jiss, put ‘includes the following, or equivalent’.

GEORGE And then also change where it says ‘extract’, delete extract and put ‘as an example’.

RICHARD Question 4, we’re going onto competency and training. What competency and training needs to be in place?

GEORGE Are people aware of any other competency or assessment frameworks or methods for emergency lighting?

JIM CREAK I think the FIA do training courses, I know they do fire alarms.

GEORGE What about things like frequency, has that been changed at all with the legislation? How frequently are you supposed to test it or maintain it?

PETER THORNS Effectively your test levels go daily, monthly, yearly, and there will be a five yearly test as well. So everyday you're supposed to check that the green led charge indicator is lit, for example.

GEORGE And what about maintenance?

PEYER THORNS Maintenance depends, you’re supposed to have your battery life, and that’s the only bit you're supposed to directly maintain, based on manufacturer recommendations. After that it depends on what your testing does, if you find there is some damage or you find that it fails the lifetime test or whatever, then you have to maintain it.

GEORGE So other than testing, there’s no actual regular maintenance?

PETER THORNS No, you have to go round and inspect it and I want to see once a month, that may not be right and just look at it, because even if you have automatic test systems it doesn’t necessarily tell you that somebody’s put their boot through it.

GEORGE That’s a good point that Richard’s just made, the cleaning, that is an activity.

RICHARD MICHAEL Yeah, that can be done at the same time as the annual.

JAREK WITYK You’ve got the bit about training referring to standards, what about referring to specific operation of the system installed and lighting control. Or if you have automatic emergency lighting testing facility you’d need to train your maintenance team in that project specific system, not just how to read drawings.

RICHARD Change management: How are the changes from one product to another recorded? Or rather how should they be recorded.

GEORGE Part of the purpose of this is to accommodate the new drive to deal with the gateways on new build, but also where we’ve got, for example, there’s a lot of lighting replacement for all sorts or reasons. Is LED relevant to emergency lighting? The change out of lighting for LED.

PETER THORNS It’s relevant in that you probably can’t buy non-LED emergency lighting now, it’s not particularly relevant for any energy saving because, let’s be honest, they’re not on that much.

JAREK WITYK Yeah, LED is pretty much standard now. I think we had another one of those conversations about change management and there were some samples people sent of what’s good look like in regards to change management. If we could maybe somehow get this information and hazards? 1hr 10mins 53secs altogether. But just to comment on this, you’ve got two aspects of change which maybe driven from aesthetic and technical requirements and they are, then the decision is being made by a different group of people. Don’t know if that somehow needs to be captured or not.

GEORGE Yeah, I think it should. Now this isn’t specific to emergency lighting, it’s more trying to accommodate the general change management process. But what would be helpful is if anybody’s got any view that is particularly relevant to emergency lighting. I think what Jarek was saying there is a really good point. Do you remember which if the workshops that was done in, Jarek?

JAREK WITYK I’ll search through my emails because I think I’ve seen some samples of change management that maybe actually…I’ll find it. I think as a guidance we need a kind of process map of cause and effect again, what’s happening and what can happen if you won’t do this and that. The change in regards to emergency lighting, change will be driven from experience. Aesthetic points of view and then cost, they kind of combine and then you’ve got technical checks being made, whether what’s proposed from an aesthetic point of view actually complies with requirements, gives you enough light and duration. And then if this fails then you go back and it goes around the circle, kind of thing.

PETER THORNS Yeah, it’s not just enough light, it’s if you have seen cases where people have decided for aesthetic reasons they will use a smaller sign. But then that changes your viewing distance so you should have more signs, but they don’t do that, they just do a smaller sign.

JAREK WITYK It would be good to produce some kind of process map of what needs to happen and what checks need to be done and include all those steps.

GEORGE Is there anybody on this call that’s interested in that change management side of things? Because if you are, if you could put your name in the chat and put against it ‘process’ then we can pick that up.

RICHARD David, what do you think? anything you want to add to this?

DAVID LINSLEY The discussion for me, for my role, is a little bit highbrow. All I need to know in my role as a fire risk assessor is, is it in place, is it suitable, does it illuminate the means of escape. And then is it tested in daily, monthly and annually.

GEORGE That's very helpful actually. So basically, you’re looking to make sure that other people have done their work properly.

DAVID LINSLEY I need to know that it does what it says on the tin. That's it. It's as simple as that for me, in the simple buildings that I assess.

GEORGE And are we in this? Are we collecting the information that you need to do that? I mean, we're probably collecting hugely more information that you need, but are we collecting enough?

DAVID LINSLEY The discussion is interesting because there must be a huge range of buildings that you're drawing your examples from. For the buildings that are assessed I just need to know that it's there, it’s suitable and efficient and it will work with the tested that it's fitted to the standard 5266. I asked a question in the chat because I didn’t understand it, what does building churn and redesign mean in terms of how people will not use it. For me, when it’s called upon they would use it because that’s how they would find their way out of the building and i didn’t understand the question.

GEORGE Remember that all of these have been written by people like you, volunteers, so there’s no single author. I’ve certainly not written it. I think the point about churn is possibly the building may have been designed in a certain way to operate in a certain way and then the tenancies changed or maybe some of the organisation of the way the building is used has changed, but the emergency lighting still reflects what the original strategy was.

PAUL BRAY I found that word churn quite a strange word to use for that because you usually use that for turnover of staff, not changing buildings. Building changes, maybe, because you’ll get an open plan office that will become cellular, and then perhaps it comes from being lots of offices to being open plan, so the layout of the emergency lighting scheme would really reflect the way that people would evacuate from the building. I think this is really important because this is what happens in a lot of buildings, that the building changes, not just emergency lighting, but for everything, and that’s what happened at Grenfell Tower. You make changes to the original layout or structure of the building and it has that consequence to the way the building would operate in a fire situation or any other emergency.

GEORGE I’d just like to ask anybody that hasn't put their name in the chat to see if you are willing to spare an hour or so, going forward. I'd just like to thank everybody that's been on the call. I hope you've found it useful. And if you have then please encourage others to join the sessions that we've got coming up.



Richard Michael

Mains electricity to charge the batteries

Thorns Peter

Any signage that is externally illuminated, either for visibility or (re)charging, has a dependency on the external light source.

Richard Michael

Supply cables cut/damaged during works.

David Linsley

what is Building churn without redesign?

Paul Bray

Sorry to go back to the first section, the reference to 'cable ties' should this be better defined or term used changed to say fire rated fire cable clips. Cable ties could be interpreted as the plastic ones. I regularly come across plastic clips or staples used for all types of cables in means of escape, so recommend making this clearer

Thorns Peter

Poor operation, for example hold-off circuits that prevent emergency lighting operating whilst a building is empty but need resetting when building is reoccupied.

Jeremy Malet

unnecessary drain down test , some customers ask for more than 1 3hr test

Jarek Wityk 

Risk: Coordinating the frequency and timing of a full 3-hour duration test may drain the batteries, and therefore temporarily, reducing the system's capacity. To mitigate this risk, staggered self-tests can be performed.

Thorns Peter

In the draft of the revision of EN50172 there is a 5 yearly test to measure the illuminance in the space from the emergency lighting. This will also need careful planning

Richard Michael

For replacement and new installations, a lighting design report shall be produced, and made available, from inputted survey data and required lux levels. The report will utilise a readily available software programme, such as DIALux, to show results and exact positions of fittings.

Jeremy Malet

one risk could be the positioning of luminaires and the way they throw out light (transverse or axial)

Paul Bray

Re Q2 to my mind this falls into 2 areas, 'the design stage' of the building, so should be covered in the planning and design consultation stage, and all details provided in the Reg 38 pack and introduced within the fire strategy document. It would not be in the fire risk assessment, unless it was considered as needing improvement because of changes in the building since built and occupation. This leads to the 2nd area where this questions falls. Changes in legislation, or guidance for existing buildings and where improvements or the health and safety or fire safety risk assessment has identified that emergency escape lighting is required or needs to be improved. In this situation, the list is Q2 can be applied to ensure the system is installed correctly and is fit for purpose.

Thorns Peter

local area lighting

part of emergency [IW1] [CW2] lighting that provides illumination for people allowed to remain temporarily in a premise during a mains supply failure if it is risk assessed for the activities that are allowed to be performed

[IW1]Removed to align

[CW2]054 'escape' deleted

Jarek Wityk 

High Risk areas as per BS5266 shall be defined to allow identification of areas where increase illumination of 15lux may be required - this is often missing from the Exchange Information Requirement

Thorns Peter

Local area lighting is effectively "stay put" lighting and is detailed in prEN1838 and will be fed forward into BS5266. (It is currently mentioned in an annex of BS5266)

Paul Bray


just sent a summary of the changes to BS 5266 2016. This introduces the term emergency safety lighting'

Richard Michael

proposed furniture/fixture locations need to be clarified to ensure light will not be blocked.

All works shall be carried out by a competent contractor, who can demonstrate this competency by membership/registration of the relevant professional body. All operatives responsible for the works shall hold the current qualification/certification relevant to the task; evidence of this certification shall be held by the contractor for inspection by the client prior to the commencement of the works.

clean luminaires as required

Paul Bray

Test facility

Each emergency lighting system should have an appropriate means for

simulating failure of the normal supply for test purposes (e.g. manual isolating

device or automatic testing).

The test facility should be able to be used for both monthly short tests and

annual full duration tests.

The test facility should be protected from unauthorized operation.

Functional operation should be checked at least every month .

Testing for full rated duration should be performed on each luminaire at least

annually. One of the following precautions should be taken during the full rated

duration tests:

a) perform the test while the building is empty or at times of minimal risk; or

b) only test alternate luminaires at any one time, so that the building has a charged luminaire next to the unit under test.

A visual inspection should be performed on each luminaire at least annually.

Section 13 of BS 5266 refers to servicing and repair of emergency lighting

BS5266 Section 12 Routine inspections and tests

3rd party accreditation scheme https://www.bafe.org.uk/bafe-fire-safety-services/emergency-lighting-systems?gclid=CjwKCAjwkeqkBhAnEiwA5U-uMzO21PF-nxbAItckL3wbNPkzhf4NVRrUsZTu_7dlAGRtp0GbNtp0yBoCOm8QAvD_BwE

Richard Michael

Change in photometrics when retrofit LED kits are used