A SURVEY of electrical contractors has revealed disturbing levels of neglect of emergency lighting installations.
A third of electricians report that in 64 per cent of sites they visit, emergency lighting logbooks are not up to date, despite these being legal requirements.
The top five emergency lighting maintenance issues uncovered were:
- Broken or faulty lamps (44 per cent of sites)
- Inadequate logbook records (42 per cent)
- Inadequate emergency lighting signage (39 per cent)
- Batteries not charged in emergency lighting units (35 per cent)
- Inadequate lux levels (25 per cent)
The survey – of contractors across Europe – also revealed than 60 per cent of respondents attended sites at least once a month where ‘the responsible person’ for fire safety was unknown.
‘This year’s installer study has resulted in some stark findings for the industry and sheds light on serious gaps in terms of our customers’ attitudes towards life safety in Europe,’ said Tracy Kirk, general manager of sales and marketing for Hochiki Europe, which undertook the poll.
‘It’s clear that there needs to be an increased focus on educating duty holders throughout our built environment on how important it is to look after life safety systems.’
Almost a third (32 per cent) regularly encountered buildings with poorly positioned or outdated life safety equipment.
Asked about systems maintenance, 70 per cent of installers got the impression their customers generally saw the upkeep of life safety systems as merely a ‘tick-box exercise’, with just 11 per cent believing they recognised it as a potentially property- and life-saving process.
Two in five (40 per cent) installers say their customers are not even aware of their legal obligations regarding system maintenance.
‘Having a correctly designed safety system installed by a qualified engineer in a building is vital when it comes to protecting lives,’ said Kirk. ‘This being said, a fire detection device or emergency lighting unit can only safeguard occupant safety if it is in working order.
‘Those with the responsibility of system upkeep should also ensure they are up to speed with the latest legislation and regulations to keep building occupants safe.’
- Hochiki Europe is exhibiting in the Escape Zone at LuxLive 2017. The Escape Zone includes the Emergency Lighting Summit, where suppliers, specifiers, standards bodies and building owners will convene to address a ‘culture of complacency in the sector that has developed over recent decades’. LuxLive 2017 takes place on Wednesday 15 November and Thursday 16 November 2017 at ExCeL London. Entry is free if you pre-register HERE.