The Law states under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 Article 14 paragraph 2 (h)emergency routes and exits requiring illumination must be provided with emergency lighting of adequate intensity in the case of failure of their normal lighting.
It should be noted that there is no mention of electrics and in such case we have referred to The Chartered Institute of Building Service Engineers (CIBSE) Fire Guide E 3rd Edition which strongly recommends using photoluminescent materials instead of conventional high level emergency lighting.
Lets face it smoke rises and when it does it obscures the light (emergency or otherwise) to the point of removing light from the area below. This is where photoluminescent comes into its full potential by activating within milli-seconds.
Even BS5266 part 1 2011 Clause 6.4 states;
BS5266 Part 1 2011 The normal height for luminaires should be at least 2 m, but the mounting height might need to be risk-assessed for the application, taking into account the effects of glare, the need to be below the possible build-up of smoke in smoke reservoirs, conditions in specific buildings (e.g. heritage buildings), or to highlight specific hazards such as stairs.
Coroner's Letter to Sir Ken Knight Chief Fire and Rescue Advisers Unit
4th February 2013
INQUEST INTO THE DEATHS OF ALAN BANNON AND JAMES SHEARS
Death by misadventure in each case in conjunction with the following narrative:
“Firefighters Alan Bannon and James Shears died from sudden exposure to initially intense heat from 20.38 to 20.41 and thereafter to excessive heat while dealing with a fire in a flat on the 9th floor of the high-rise tower block Shirley Towers".
It is recommended that there should be an obligation to:
a) provide signage to indicate floor levels both in stairwells and lift lobbies in high rise premises, to assist the emergency services;
b) ensure that signage indicating flat numbers and emergency exits in high rise premises are placed at a low level to increase visibility in smoke conditions.