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Topic Title: Emergency Lighting
Topic Summary: What Test Duration for Annual Test
Created On: 28 April 2013 08:03 AM
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 28 April 2013 08:03 AM
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keithredpath

Posts: 424
Joined: 30 March 2002

In an office environment, what test duration would you apply during the annual test.

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keithredpath
 28 April 2013 08:45 AM
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alanblaby

Posts: 389
Joined: 09 March 2012

It entirely depends on location, local licensing rules, Insurers, local fire regs etc.
The recommended time for an office is 1 hour.
You need to liaise with the client to find if there are restrictions that may increase the test time.
 28 April 2013 09:12 AM
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Zs

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If the annual test to which you refer is the complete drain-down of the batteries in self contained fittings then, whilst most buildings are designed for evacuation within one hour and not for continued use, they will probably still have three hour fittings installed.

My recent experience shows that a good three hour fitting lasts for about four hours.

So IMO this is a Sunday morning test and needs to run for the duration of the batteries and then a walk round to ensure that all the charge lights have come back on.

But all the above without refreshing my brain by looking at the BS document. I have it here and it isn't even 'in the van'. Just lazy.

Zs
 28 April 2013 09:24 AM
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Fm

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Depends on what thenoffice is used for i suppose
But if its a 60 minute fitting its 60 minutes
If its 180 minute fitting its 180 minutes.
 28 April 2013 10:04 AM
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Zs

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You are quite right Fm, of course. I'm in the documents now and they are really woolly on this subject. Unfortunately I only have BS5266.1 which doesn't give specific instruction on this. Emergency lighting guidance on the web states three hours and only Paul cook states 'for its full rated duration'.

Interesting no mention of a full drain-down and re check that the unit is able to re charge. I will not have dreamed that up as a requirement because it is such a nuisance test to have to run so I am wondering where I got it from. Quite possibly industry chinese whispers because I do take advice from the great and the good. But I can't find it in writing so ignore that bit Keith, until we can better substantiate it. I must learn not to trust everyone's advice and to look everything up for myself. Sorry.

Edit: I have found my handwritten note on the subject of the drain down. Written hastily in the van at the end of a day with one of you. if it turns out to be wrong then tut tut, I've had that theatre drained as a result.

Zs

Edited: 28 April 2013 at 10:16 AM by Zs
 28 April 2013 10:20 AM
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Legh

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As a rule of thumb, I think its one hour for places frequently used by known persons, such as employees and the like.
For residential properties where sleepovers take place it increases to 3 hour duration.
I'm not sure that Sunday am is the best time for testing since you will be unable to assess the Lux output of the areas that need illumination.

Best time is in the dead of night where you creep around like a Ninja sampling the air with your light meter.

Legh

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 28 April 2013 11:13 AM
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perspicacious

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Need to check if this from 5266-10:2008 is still current:

8 Procedures to limit the risks of
annual full duration testing
BS EN 62034 specifies the basic performance and safety requirements
for individual products and components that are incorporated into
automatic test systems for use with emergency lighting systems on
supply voltages not exceeding 1000 V. Also described within
BS EN 62034 are suitable methods and procedures to limit the risk of
occupants of annual duration test. Examples are:
a) self-contained systems tested at alternately staggered test times so
two luminaires near to each other are not tested within the same
24 h period;
b) central systems tested to a higher end of discharge voltage for two
thirds of rated duration that corresponds to a full duration at the
normal rated end of discharge voltage, while still leaving some
capacity in the battery to assist evacuation;
c) emergency systems in areas fully covered by natural light tested at
9 am to ensure some recharge for the batteries before nightfall.
This technique should be limited to installations with 3 h duration
luminaires, so any areas with no natural lighting such as
windowless internal corridors and stairwells should be excluded;
d) patrols equipped with torches to guide occupants through any
areas of high hazard.


Regards

BOD
 28 April 2013 11:19 AM
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OMS

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You need to test it, as that nice Mr Cooke says for "it's rated duration"

If the design duration is 1 hour and some numpty has decided to install 3 hour luminaires, the test is still for 1 hour.

It has nothing really to do with "persons familiar with the premises etc etc" - that will influence the type of design (illuminated or non illuminated signage for example) - the duration is generally intended to address early re occupation - so if you've just tipped 150 people out onto a busy thoroughfare at 2.00 am and it's a false alarm, you want them back in PDQ and to have enough battery power left to deal with a second incident.

regards

OMS

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 28 April 2013 11:53 AM
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SKElectrical

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Originally posted by: OMS

You need to test it, as that nice Mr Cooke says for "it's rated duration"

If the design duration is 1 hour and some numpty has decided to install 3 hour luminaires, the test is still for 1 hour.



I've never seen a design. Can this be part of the site Risk Assessment.
 28 April 2013 12:16 PM
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OMS

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Originally posted by: SKElectrical

Originally posted by: OMS

You need to test it, as that nice Mr Cooke says for "it's rated duration"

If the design duration is 1 hour and some numpty has decided to install 3 hour luminaires, the test is still for 1 hour.




I've never seen a design. Can this be part of the site Risk Assessment.


Wot - never ?

The risk assessment would inform the design, yes - it would be a part of the process that determined duration for example - but without a design how would anyone provide and sign the design section of the certification - accompanied by the photometric spacing data for self contained or dedicated emergency luminaires or the authenticated photometric design calculations if using "conversion" luminaires.

Regards

OMS

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 28 April 2013 02:19 PM
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SKElectrical

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Originally posted by: OMS
Wot - never ?

In all the years of annual testing for various premises - usually public sector buildings - I've seen commissioning & design certs maybe once. Maybe.


without a design how would anyone provide and sign the design section of the certification - accompanied by the photometric spacing data for self contained or dedicated emergency luminaires or the authenticated photometric design calculations if using "conversion" luminaires.

Contractors don't usually provide this. Clients usually don't know any better.
I have to tick N/A on these boxes, and write a comment saying RA should be performed etc.



Its all a bit of a waste of time replacing so many fittings that don't quite last the 3 hours - I've always thought so - in smallish (loosely termed) offices anyway. I never knew that 1 hour could be okay. But then again I've only performed annual drain downs as a subby to elec contractors, and have followed their guidance.

Who do you think would be suitable to decide on time duration for emergency egress?
 28 April 2013 03:43 PM
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OMS

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Originally posted by: SKElectrical

Originally posted by: OMS

Wot - never ?

In all the years of annual testing for various premises - usually public sector buildings - I've seen commissioning & design certs maybe once. Maybe.

Well, the wouldn't neccessarily give you the design certification if all you are doing is a bit of routine functional testing


without a design how would anyone provide and sign the design section of the certification - accompanied by the photometric spacing data for self contained or dedicated emergency luminaires or the authenticated photometric design calculations if using "conversion" luminaires.



Contractors don't usually provide this. Clients usually don't know any better.

I have to tick N/A on these boxes, and write a comment saying RA should be performed etc.


Don't follow you there - which certificate are you marking N/A on ?


Its all a bit of a waste of time replacing so many fittings that don't quite last the 3 hours - I've always thought so - in smallish (loosely termed) offices anyway. I never knew that 1 hour could be okay. But then again I've only performed annual drain downs as a subby to elec contractors, and have followed their guidance.

Just hope the clients don't came after you with a big bill for the recompense due to them from bad or misguided advice than. If you've been swapping fittings that don't quite achieve 3 hours in a building with a design duration of 1 hour - well that's just mental

Who do you think would be suitable to decide on time duration for emergency egress?

Egress is a slightly different thing - it's based on what we call the required safe evacuation time - the purpose of the emergency lighting is (with various factors) to achieve an available safe evacuation time. ie it's lit for as least as long as people need to escape from the building.

If, in accordance with BS 5266 - 1:2011, there are usually only 2 durations - 1hr and 3 hrs.

So the designer is a suitable person to determine the duration based on the standard which states - "........to assist those engineers wishing to protect occupants from the hazards identified by risk assessments, and also to evaluate existing premises to decide if they need to be upgraded to meet current requirements.............."

The Risk Assesment is the key document as required by the RRO.



regards

OMS

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 16 May 2013 03:00 PM
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SKElectrical

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OMS,
can I just get your take on a few things here...

2 storey office, for office use, areas of public access, each floor 300m2.
Fittings are standard 3 hours duration types.
So if design for evacuation is 1 hour, but the fittings are supposedly capable of 3 hours - would you just test for a one hour duration as opposed to the 3hrs?


Also
large office block say 12 storey, top floor office say 300m2, and areas of access to public. Would you be inclined to opt for 3 hour design duration?



Lastly
A hostel where em lighting does not energise under local lighting failure (instead activated by contactor at mains intake). This has been installed years ago. Is it legal to have such a setup,? This was a home office site, and I believe they are exempt from any legislation (I was told this on this forum).

Your thoughts appreciated.
 16 May 2013 05:18 PM
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OMS

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Originally posted by: SKElectrical

OMS,

can I just get your take on a few things here...

2 storey office, for office use, areas of public access, each floor 300m2

OK - simple very low risk building then.

Fittings are standard 3 hours duration types.

OK - you may need illumiunated signage if the public are present - but if present in sufficient quantity it may well be an assembly building class, with associated offices so duration and re occupation are an issue.

So if design for evacuation is 1 hour, but the fittings are supposedly capable of 3 hours - would you just test for a one hour duration as opposed to the 3hrs?

You test for the "rated duration" - if that's one hour, then test for 1 hour


Also

large office block say 12 storey, top floor office say 300m2, and areas of access to public. Would you be inclined to opt for 3 hour design duration?

Depends on the evacuation strategy - if you can clear the bulding in a single stage evacuation and you don't have refuge issues then 1 hour is probably fine.

Again the public access changes the emphasis and 3 hours may be needed for early re occupation rather than for escape time.

If it's multiphase evacuation then you probably want 3 hours


Lastly

A hostel where em lighting does not energise under local lighting failure (instead activated by contactor at mains intake). This has been installed years ago. Is it legal to have such a setup,? This was a home office site, and I believe they are exempt from any legislation (I was told this on this forum).

It's not illegal, the client should review it as part of the risk assesment - robustly in my opinion as the system clearly pre dates 1988. If there is an incident, it's probable the responsible person under the RRFSO has breached a duty to relevant persons - and that's illegal. If inspected by FRS as the enforcement authority it will almost certainlt receive an improvement notice - ignoring that is illegal

Crown immunity on just about all sites has now ceased - it's possible though that the building only needs to comply with crown fire standards and they may differ from what FRS as enforcing authority may adopt.


Your thoughts appreciated.


Summary answer, you can't just decide these things in isolation - that's why the people on here keep banging on about "What does the fire risk assessment say" - from there we have simple rules in such things as BS 5266 - 1 etc to provide systems that can be claimed to address the FRA

Regards

OMS

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 16 May 2013 08:05 PM
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SKElectrical

Posts: 910
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Originally posted by: OMS
It's not illegal..



Yes I know its not illegal per se, but it may well be by extension, ie arrogance of duty of care.

Thanks.

The system at the hostel, which is ministry of justice owned, has fused neutrals etc. I notified that this was unacceptable the last time I did work for this lot. I don't know the point of all this paperwork when it doesn't even get read.

Still, I notice they've had nice new bathrooms installed throughout, new boiler too, and fob access.
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