While it may be far from our minds whenever we enter the premises of a business, tragic and terrifying circumstances can occur without warning. Thanks to the changes to safety and emergency procedures, lighting and signage, we can have more peace of mind. It is why business owners and their employees need to know what to do in the case of an emergency.
Emergency lighting and exit signs are an essential Safety Measure for any business. The lighting is designed to help occupants of a building to evacuate the premises as safely as possible in the event of a potentially dangerous situation. Dependant on State Regulations, it is the responsibility of the building owner or occupier to install, maintain and monitor the lighting.
Keeping things in order
Commercial buildings and any building over 300sq metres should have emergency lighting and exit signs installed. Under the Australian Standard AS22931.1, emergency lights and exit signs require periodic testing and maintenance. This ensures they function correctly in the event of a fire, power outage or other emergency.
Faults in the emergency lighting and signs may not be evident until an emergency arises. This is why regular, periodic testing and maintenance is important.
Not only does this put any occupant in a building at risk to trauma, injury or death, it can have significant consequences on the business’ property and business compliance. Lack of functioning emergency lighting and exit signs also greatly impedes the ability for emergency teams to respond effectively to achieve successful evacuation of the building, locate the source of the emergency and keep property damage to a minimum.
Failure to meet compliance standards in maintaining emergency systems leaves a business in breach of the Australian Standards and at risk of penalties from $10,000 for individuals; $100,000 for companies and possible jail sentences.
What happens in a safety check?
Exit lights should be tested every 6 months and must remain illuminated for at least 90 minutes running on battery power. Most emergency exit signs have a small “push to test” button on the casing enabling maintenance personnel to undertake this test. This kind of single unit testing takes time and in some cases, lights are difficult to reach. If a business has multiple safety and exit lights, calling a qualified Electrician to undertake the testing makes the process easier to manage.
Should anything require replacement or repair, a qualified Electrician can undertake this at the time of testing.
Keeping it simple
New technology has made the process of keeping emergency and safety lighting and signs in good working order much simpler. It allows the equipment to be checked wirelessly, making it easier for a qualified Electrician to detect if individual lighting or signs need to be replaced. They can go straight to the area having the problem and eliminates any doubt from the maintenance equation.
This is something that we offer to our customers at TJB Electrical as part of providing assurance and peace of mind and to keep on top of any maintenance and repairs. Linked with our scheduling process, our customers know that they are compliant with all necessary regulations and keeping their business and their people safe.