Electrical Contracting News (ECN) August 2016 - Page 29

EMERGENCY LIGHTING Do signs need to be upgraded? Currently, you are under no legal obligation to change your signs and it is highly unlikely that any such requirement will ever be introduced. For the time being, you can keep your old signs according to the previous BS5499. However, considering the functionality and practicability of the new signs, you may want to consider upgrading your signs to the new regulations immediately. When looking to purchase new signs, it is advisable to ensure they meet the new BS EN ISO7010. It will be hard not to, anyway, as most of the sign manufacturers no longer produce the non-compliant BS5499 versions. Are mixed symbols allowed? It is highly recommended by Health and Safety Guidance that the two different types of signs, BS5499 and BS EN ISO7010, should not be mixed in the workplace. The guidance recommends consistency in style and design throughout a building. However, this is only a recommendation, so it isn’t actually illegal to mix sign types. Nevertheless, consistency will be much more important in public buildings. On that basis, if you are adding a few signs to a building that consistently follows EC Directive 92/58/ EEC, it is worth seeking out matching signs, at least for the time being, even 2360 AD_UK.indd 1 28-29 Emergency Lighting – ESP.indd 29 though they’re not designed to the latest standard. If you are starting from scratch with a new building, go with a new standard. And if your situation is somewhere between those two, do what seems most logical. If you wish to use signs in accordance with best practice, it is best not to mix symbols from old and new standards. Particularly in critical situations, signs marking fire escape routes, for example, can save lives. In this scenario, ambiguous signs can lead to confusion and cost lives. Where some confusion lies Before 2013, the traditional emergency sign used above doorways to identify the escape route pictured a DOWN arrow. Under the standard of BS EN ISO7010 the DOWN arrow should only be used to identify a change of level going down (for example at the top of a staircase). Following the introduction of BS EN ISO7010 the directional arrow above a corridor doorway should be the UP arrow. “ When looking to purchase new signs, it is advisable to ensure they meet the new BS EN ISO7010. IT IS BEST NOT TO MIX SYMBOLS, PARTICULARLY IN CRITICAL SITUATIONS. AMBIGUOUS SIGNS CAN LEAD TO CONFUSION AND COST LIVES. This is to inform the occupants that they need to carry straight on. We know that there is an issue, as here at ESP we still sell three times as many DOWN arrow products as UP ones. The proportion should be the other way around. Make sure you are not caught out. 7/15/16 3:47 PM 19/07/2016 09:41