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Topic Title: Emergency lights
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Created On: 05 August 2012 06:52 PM
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 05 August 2012 06:52 PM
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mitten

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Wiring a small shop at the moment 1 room up and 1 room down and putting in emergency lights off lighting circuits(3 in total)
Do the lights need test switches ?

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Jason
 05 August 2012 08:37 PM
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Fm

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No you can use the cb, however it makes it a Pain for the 3 hour test.
For the cost fit it an wire it just to kill the em feed so you maintain the rest of the lights.
 06 August 2012 07:12 AM
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MrP

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Jason

It's an old chestnut that you have to use a key switch as a test facility on an emergency lighting circuit

MrP
 06 August 2012 09:16 AM
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broadgage

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AFAIK the regs only require that"suitable facilities for testing" be provided for emergency lights.
In some circumstances it could be argued that the MCB is suitable.

It would IMHO be better practice to fit key switches, but I dont believe it be an actual requirement.
 06 August 2012 09:33 AM
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ebee

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what about a switch on the ceiling adjacent to the light , if this is out of normal reach without ladders (or a long stick) would it be a problem?

-------------------------
Regards,
Ebee (M I S P N)

Knotted cables cause Lumpy Lektrik
 06 August 2012 09:45 AM
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broadgage

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Originally posted by: ebee

what about a switch on the ceiling adjacent to the light , if this is out of normal reach without ladders (or a long stick) would it be a problem?


Seems a bit odd, but do I not believe that anything prohibits so doing.
I have seen emergency lights installed thus, especialy in public houses in the West country. Might have been a local requirement ?

Until recently, local magistrates who licensed public houses had very considerable control and often had peculiar local requirements regarding electrical instalations in pubs.

A favourite one being that the supply to self contained emergency lights had to be a seperate circuit and wired in MICC. This is actually contary to accepted good practice.
 06 August 2012 03:47 PM
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GB

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What about getting fittings with a self test facility?
three seems a little light (excuse the pun)
what with stairs, exit routes and externally to exit route and escape route etc
 06 August 2012 05:45 PM
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Fm

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Remember you cando the minimum to comply,ie use the circuit breaker as a switch, or as i said earlier, spend a bit more and make the installation a bit better and easier to maintain for future contractors, which might be you of course!
 06 August 2012 05:45 PM
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Fm

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Remember you cando the minimum to comply,ie use the circuit breaker as a switch, or as i said earlier, spend a bit more and make the installation a bit better and easier to maintain for future contractors, which might be you of course!
 06 August 2012 07:35 PM
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Dave69

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the "responsible person" will be required to test the emergency lights at least once a month by simulating a mains failure and ensure each emergency light fitting operates correctly and record the results in the log book you supply him and once a year the lights must be tested for the required rated time, normally three hours again recording the results in the log book supplied. By far the easiest way of testing the lights is by a test switch for each circuit although if the "responsible person" is authorised and competent to use local MCB's for each circuit to test them they is no reason why they cant be used (just hope he never leaves his job).

so in a nut shell, for the few quid it costs and the few minutes it takes to install, test switches are the safest option.


As for the option of a switch adjacent to each emergency light fitting mounted out of normal reach with out the use of step ladders (2 man job with one man footing the step ladders) or using a stick to reach the switch, do you really the person responsible for testing the emergency lights monthly will be bothered to go to that much trouble?
 07 August 2012 09:01 AM
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broadgage

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Does someone really need to be "authorised and competant" to operate small MCBs as used for lighting and small power circuits ?

When MCBs were a relatively new idea, I thought that whole idea of installing them instead of fuses was that anyone could reset them after a fault, rather than the risks of replacing a fuse, perhaps with the wrong size.

Is operating a small MCB really any more dangerous than use of a light switch, cooker switch, shower switch or similar equipment.
Any of these can fail violently if closed onto a fault, but such events are exceedingly rare and seldom serious.
 07 August 2012 10:33 AM
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Boyobach

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I tend to specify self test luminares or if it is a larger premise a monitored emergency lighting system such as Thorlux Scanlight.

(Other monitored systems are also available).
 08 August 2012 07:22 AM
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Dave69

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Originally posted by: broadgage

Does someone really need to be "authorised and competant" to operate small MCBs as used for lighting and small power circuits ?



.


it depends what the RAMS say, but any good RA should say the responsible person must be competant to carry out the duty required
 08 August 2012 01:29 PM
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OMS

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Does someone really need to be "authorised and competant" to operate small MCBs as used for lighting and small power circuits ?



it depends what the RAMS say, but any good RA should say the responsible person must be competant to carry out the duty required


BS EN 60898 - Circuit-breakers for overcurrent protection for household and similar installations. Circuit-breakers for a.c. and d.c. operation


Well we let the unskilled and uninstructed loose on them at home - so I think I would agree - switching them in a similar installation is hardly going to be a problem in any sensible risk assessment.

Regards

OMS

-------------------------
Failure is always an option
 08 August 2012 09:05 PM
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Dave69

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switching them at home is not a problem, but switching at WORK is different, turning off a MCB or turning it back on can have BIG results and cause danger to life, original post stated this is NOT household but a shop, where i hope people are being paid to work so RAMS come into play, oh dear the lights have gone off lets call the local sparks and then oh fleck who turned the power back on while poor old steve the sparks had the cables out testing them
 09 August 2012 09:29 AM
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OMS

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Get a grip Dave - if you are so focussed on the RAMS, how the hell did poor old steve the sparks end up working on a circuit without proper lock out/isolation procedures ?

These are simple MCB's designed for use by untrained persons - using them for switching is quite normal. I worked in a big office created in an old MOD type hanger building - there was a 12 way TP&N dist board on a column near the entrance to the main drawing office - first one in every morning just flicked on the lighting CB's and last man out at night did the same to switch off - no one died - do i get more stupid when i get to work than I am at home ?

Regards

OMS

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Failure is always an option
 22 January 2013 04:44 PM
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Inspexx

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BS 5266-1:2011
Paragraph 8.3.3
 22 January 2013 09:08 PM
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sparkingchip

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Go on, give us a clue!
 22 January 2013 10:06 PM
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sparkingchip

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