Exit and Emergency Lighting System

Jul 29, 2022

An Exit and Emergency Lighting System (EEL) is a critical part of any business’s safety evacuation plan. 


Mandated by the Australian Government, the EEL is an electrically operated system that illuminates evacuation paths in the event of blackouts or other electrical failures.  

In multi-storey residential and commercial buildings in Australia, emergency lighting is an essential safety feature that activates in the case of a power outage or other emergency situations. The location of fire extinguishers, emergency and exit lights, and the best route to evacuate the building are all indicated visually by the exit and emergency lights. These lights are often installed in corridors or stairways. 

WACOMM is available to provide reliable services, whether you require emergency light installation or routine testing. We are your Perth lighting contractors, offering installation, repairs, and testing of emergency exit and safety lights for commercial and residential properties. Our licensed commercial electricians in Perth will also be able to create a custom testing and maintenance schedule for your building in accordance with local regulations. 


The Where and the Who? 


According to the Australian Standard AS2293, emergency lighting must be installed in commercial buildings that are occupied by customers or employees. This includes office buildings, warehouses and shopping centres, hospitals, and multi-residential properties, to name just a few. 

  • Exit signs: An exit sign must be visible to all occupants and illuminated at all hours. These signs can be found at every point, including at the top of any staircase or directly above exits. 
    In the event of a change in direction, it is possible to direct the occupants to an evacuation point. 
  • Emergency Lights: These lights will be installed periodically throughout the building. The building’s shape and ceiling height will determine the location. 

Both the National Construction Code and the standard state that an appropriate qualified engineer and an electrician should provide guidance for the installation and maintenance of emergency lighting systems in Perth. Business owners are required to contact an electrician at least once every six months to inspect and test their system. After a simulation of a power loss, the system must run for at least 90 minutes. All these tests should be recorded, and any mistakes corrected. 


Why Are Emergency Lights Necessary? 


In the event that the power goes out, the occupants may find themselves in sudden darkness. 

The emergency lighting helps to ensure that there is a safe exit from the building. 

To ensure that your staff, guests, and the general public are safe and able to evacuate a commercial or public service building, exit and path-finder lighting in Perth are an integral part of its structure. 

You can refer to the Australian Standards in AS 2293.1:2018 Part 1: System Design, Installation, and Operation. 

Hospitals and residential aged care facilities must meet additional requirements. We are here to help you navigate the codes and ensure that you are fully compliant. 


Do Emergency Exit Lights Need to Be On At All Times? 


Although emergency lighting does not need to be turned on constantly, it is important that the lights have a reliable power source in case the main power fails. 

Australia’s emergency lights should be equipped with a self-contained power source that can turn on in the event of a power outage or other emergency. 


The Test  


The building owner or tenant is responsible for ensuring that an emergency lighting system conforms to regulations. Also, compliance includes cleaning the devices, checking for damage, making sure replacement parts match, and labelling exit signs with the correct directional arrows. 

Our Perth commercial electricians are licenced to operate emergency lighting systems. We provide complete services for emergency lights, including: 

  • Visual inspections of all exits and emergency lighting 
  • Tests for all emergency lights simulating a failure take place over 90 minutes. 
  • If needed, replace lamps and batteries. 
  • Checking operations and signage of all lights 
  • Keep the test results electronic for OH & S reasons. 
  • Report your findings. 

    Every building is different and requires different equipment. Get in touch to learn more about your business and how you can best help. 


    Manual Testing vs. Automatic Testing 


    An electrical contractor can choose between two options for conducting compliance testing. They will base their decision on the systems in your building. 


    Manual Duration Testing  


    A manually tested system is wired to a timing device that controls the exit and emergency lights. An electrician will inspect your job site to verify that all fittings have been tested. All dark bulbs should be replaced. The test timer will have been activated and a second inspection will be done to confirm that all lights still work as intended. This process can be cheaper but may require more expensive fittings. 


    Self-Testing Exits and Emergency Lights 


    A timer is included in your self-testing equipment. It will test your system for fluorescent bulbs every six months. 

    This is required when the results are being recorded. This is quicker and more cost-effective than testing, up to 50%. This allows for easier identification of issues and helps to organise logbooks. However, this system does not have a physical inspection that can be used to gather test results. Although self-testing may seem more expensive at the beginning, it is much more reliable and less costly over time. 




    Are Emergency and Exit Lights Required to Be on A Separate Circuit? 


    Yes. Australian Standards have required that the circuit used for new or modified exit or emergency lighting systems be kept separate from the general lighting circuit since 2006. 


    Does Emergency Lighting Have to Be Hardwired in Order to Work? 


    Yes, emergency and exit lights must be hardwired into their designated circuits. 


    Does Emergency Lighting Need to be Wired with Fire-Rated Cables? 


    Standard electrical insulation cable is not sufficient for small commercial applications. Before installing the cable, please consult your electrician and local authorities. 

    Trusted, Reliable Emergency Lighting Services in Perth


    WACOMM can handle all your emergency lighting needs in Perth. Get in touch with our expert commercial electrical contractors in Perth today. 




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    Since 1997, WACOMM has been providing Commercial and Industrial Electrical services in Perth, Western Australia. Experienced and efficient, David and the team at WACOMM have the skilled knowledge to complete medium and large scale projects to the highest possible standard in Perth.

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