Does Your Commercial Building Have Proper Emergency Lighting?

Commercial property owners need to guarantee the security and safety of the building. From the employees to the clients to guests – all building occupants should feel safe as they move to conduct their business within your property.

Preparation Is Key

Preparation is the most effective strategy when it comes to crisis prevention. Making sure you have the right security measures – from emergency lights to proper exit signs to an efficient alarm system – will equip you with the right resources when dealing with a crisis within your facilities.

There are several factors you need to keep in mind as you prepare your commercial building for security measures. One crucial consideration is installing a good emergency lighting system.

Emergency lighting system is classified as a type of lighting system that automatically turns on when the main power supply crashes. Emergency lighting systems get their power supply from a separate battery source.

There are different forms of emergency lights. And each type has a primary function.

  • Escape Route Lighting – directs building occupants to exit points and other escape access points.
  • Open Area Lighting – installed in elevators or stairways
  • Emergency Escape Lighting – emergency lights that direct people on safe paths to take when exiting a building
  • High Risk – this lighting is for areas within the building that are potentially more dangerous than the rest.

Source of Comfort

During stressful and emergency situations, emergency lights can act as a source of comfort for people. Times of distress often lead people to reach irrationally and illogically, which can put themselves and other people at risk. How people react to emergency situations significantly affect how things will transpire.

Hallways lit up with emergency exit signs

Emergency lighting equipment such as remote headlamps and lit-up exit signs help keep people alert and conscious of their surroundings.

These devices, no matter how small, can aid in lessening panic and hopefully leading people to safety.

Lighting Modes

Emergency lighting systems come in two main settings: Non-maintained and maintained.

Maintained emergency lighting is always on. A good example is the lighting installed in a movie theater or theme parks.

Non-maintained lighting, on the other hand, only comes on when the primary power source dies.

It’s up to the commercial property owner or manager whether they want a maintained or non-maintained emergency lighting system. Either way, the top consideration is what their facilities require. Consult a specialist for expert recommendations. They will do a proper assessment of your space and come up with an emergency lighting system that matches your needs.

Emergency Lighting Duration

According to the US Fire Safety Code, emergency lights and exit signs should last a minimum of 90 minutes. This should help those who can’t evacuate a building immediately, such as hotels or hospitals. This is also the requirement for buildings that will be reoccupied as soon as possible.

On the other hand, emergency lighting should be for a minimum of 60 minutes for buildings that can handle immediate evacuation.

Testing Emergency Lights

The testing of emergency lights will depend on whether you have manual or automatic lighting system.


A competent member of your staff can check if manual lighting is working sufficiently. As long as he or she knows how to do it properly. Work with a professional fire alarm company to train your staff on how to do this.

Manual checks include physically checking the units if they’re working correctly. This involves turning the lights on one by one, walking around the whole area, and switching them off one by one as he or she goes back to the starting point.

A staggered checking schedule is also ideal. This allows you to test the lights while still not disrupting any work.


Automatic checking of emergency lights can come in many different forms. However, the general idea is an automated lighting system has the capability to self-check and notate any issues or disruptions. However, these reports should still be continuously recorded and gathered by an individual.


Regular inspections of emergency lighting system is a must

Emergency lights are required to be regularly inspected. Your local safety inspector will check if your facility has well-lit exit signs and proper maintenance of these lighting systems.

These inspections usually happen once a month for emergency lights and once a year for the central emergency lighting system.

If you need more information about the emergency lighting system and how you can benefit from them, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. All our products comply with the guidelines set forth by the National Fire Protection Association.