The answer to this goes back to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order (RRFSO) 2005. Put very simply, this regulation requires that the ‘responsible person in charge of non-domestic premises, including the common areas of a house in multiple occupancy, is also responsible for the safety of everyone in the building, whether they are guests, workers, visitors or residents.
Article 14 (2) (h) states: ‘Emergency routes and exits requiring illumination must be provided with emergency lighting of adequate intensity in the case of failure of their normal lighting’.
If lighting is required so that people can go about their normal business, then emergency provision is needed in the event of a power outage. The Industry committee for Emergency Lighting (ICEL) puts it like this: ‘The legal requirement is that non-domestic buildings must be safe at all times, even if mains power failure occurs. Therefore, nearly all such buildings must have emergency lighting fitted’.
The legal requirement is that non-domestic buildings must be safe at all times, even if mains power failure occurs. Therefore, nearly all such buildings must have emergency lighting fitted.
And if you need emergency lighting for safe egree, you will also need to make sure that fire-fighting equ9pment locations are also properly illuminated and that there is sufficient signage to ensure that people know how which routes to take to leave the building.
And who is the ‘responsible person’?
Anyone who has some control over a premises must take reasonable steps to reduce the likelihood of fire and ensure sure people can safely escape if there is a fire. An employer or other designated responsible person who has control over the premises or activities that take place on the premises, has responsibilities under the Fire Safety Reform Order 2005.
All commercial premises must have a legally designated person, responsible for fire safety. In the case of people who are not employers, but have control over premises, the extent of their responsibility, will depend on the extent of their control.
This question was answered by John Bullock, Lux's applications editor.