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Locating Your Emergency Lights

Emergency lighting is designed to provide sufficient illumination in the event of a mains power failure. The guide below provides examples of where to locate your emergency lighting according to different areas of a premises. As well as highlighting the fire exits of a building, correctly located emergency lighting provides essential illumination throughout the escape route including steps and stairways, changes in direction and fire and first aid points.

Changes in Direction

It is important to have emergency lighting that clearly illuminates corridors and where there are changes in direction. This allows users to clearly identify their means of escape and should highlight the escape route signs.


Stairways and stairwells can present a potential hazard in an emergency. Emergency lights need to be fitted so that all of the stairs declines and inclines are made visible.

Steps and Ramps

In areas where flooring may become uneven on an escape route, a lighting unit should be fitted to so that it does not prove a danger to users. Uneven flooring can consist of single steps, ramps, sloping floors etc.

Fire & First Aid Points

Fire and first aid points can prove essential in the event of an emergency. Emergency lighting should be installed to highlight the fire-fighting and first aid equipment so that they can be located with ease even after a mains failure.

Exit Doors (External & Internal)

Ensuring that exit doors are well lit in an emergency can be the difference between evacuating a building and getting trapped inside. All exit doors need to be well lit to ensure that users can identify where to go at the end of escape routes.


Whilst escalators should not be a part of any escape route it is still a requirement to provide illumination of them in an emergency. By making them visible, the chances of escalators becoming hazardous are significantly reduced.

Lifts & Elevators

Installation of emergency lighting in lifts is essential even though they are not to be used on an escape route as users may be in the process of using the lift when evacuation is required. When the main power to the lighting units is cut there needs to be sufficient illumination for users to react.


Emergency lighting needs to be provided in all areas of a premises where staff and members of the public have access to. Emergency illumination in toilet areas allow occupants to safely make their way to the escape route and helps to avoid a panic situation.


High risk areas within a building can be defined as those which require users to demonstrate additional amounts of care. The importance of having sufficient lighting, especially in an emergency, is therefore heightened.

Large Open Areas

Areas accessible by the public that are larger than 60m2 and open areas with an escape route running through them must have emergency lighting installed to ensure users safety, guiding them to the nearest exit.


Reviewed: 01/07/2019 (doc:69 V1.0). Our articles are reviewed regularly. However, any changes made to standards or legislation following the review date will not have been considered. Please note that we provide abridged, easy-to-understand guidance. To make detailed decisions about your fire safety provisions, you might require further advice or need to consult the full standards and legislation.


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