On May 1st, 2014 an amendment to E4.8 of the National Construction Code of Australia (NCC) was implemented, permitting the use of photoluminescent (PL) exit lights and signs. All PL exit signs must now have a dedicated, uninterrupted light source and emergency luminaire backup. An escape or exit sign luminaire maintained in operation does comply with the current regulations and is the preferred option for this purpose.
How should PL exit signs be used?
This has been an area of concern amongst electricians, building owners and building managers, as to how PL exit signs may be used. When installing a PL exit sign, it also requires the installation of two additional luminaires. It firstly stipulates that a PL exit sign must have a dedicated, uninterrupted light source continuously illuminating 100 lux onto the face of the sign and secondly, that an emergency luminaire must be installed within 2 metres of an exit door or where there is a dedicated point of entry/exit. Unlike electrically powered exit signs, PL material cannot achieve a light output to be classified as an emergency luminaire, so the additional emergency luminaire is essential for it to stay well lit and for the required duration of 60 minutes following a power failure.
What are the safety and legal regulations?
Exit and emergency lighting, or escape lights are an essential occupational health and safety device. Therefore, there are legal requirements which must be complied with; the NCC and AS/NZS 2293.1 and the WH&S legislation. In Victoria the maximum penalties for a corporation are $1.3 million dollars and $625,000 respectively, and significant financial penalties and possible imprisonment are imposed for serious breaches by an individual.
What are the costs associated with Luminaire LED and PL exit signs?
The installation costs associated with the two additional luminaires does have a significant price impact. The supply and installation cost of a standard LED exit sign is approximately $250, with the ongoing energy costs of $3.16 per year. The supply and installation cost of a PL exit sign, accompanying emergency light and separate luminating light source is approximately $550, with the ongoing energy costs of around $21.56 per year. In addition to these costs, there are the expenses associated with the ongoing maintenance. (A detailed breakdown is available from Lighting Council of Australia.)
*Lighting Council Australia
Call Prolux Electrical Contractors on 1800 800 880 for a no obligation discussion on how we can provide you with programmed electrical maintenance for the buildings you manage.
What is a safety switch?
Safety switches are devices connected to electrical cables within a home, factory or alike and they have the ability to detect the loss of a current from a particular circuit and cut off power to the affected electrical device in as little as 25 milliseconds. Safety switches are designed to save lives; they prevent electric shock and electrocution. They have become mandatory on power outlet circuits of new homes since 1992 and on light power circuits in most Australian states since 2000. Many older homes and business residences don’t have safety switches installed which means things like air-conditioning, hot water systems and kitchen stoves aren’t protected. As of 2008, all residential rental properties were required to have safety switches installed. Workplace supervisors have a responsibility to make sure that RCDs (residual current devices) are installed within their workplace and fitted to electrical circuits wherever hand-held electrical tools are to be used. RCDs are to be installed by a licensed electrician only.
As prescribed in the Occupational Health and Safety Act, employers have a duty of care to provide a safe work environment for their employees. Part of this duty of care is to test and tag all electrical equipment.
Faulty electrical devices in the office or factory represent a huge risk to anyone who may come into contact with them. Prolux Electrical Contractors provide a complete testing and tagging service, providing you with peace of mind and ensuring your employees a safe place of work.
Whether you have brought a new appliance or machine for your work space, it’s best to get them tested and tagged before commencing use.
We can provide an inexpensive service to your company, and provide a regular appointment to test and tag your electrical equipment every 12 months.
Prolux Electrical Contractors are Melbourne based electricians providing reliable and cost effective electrical testing and tagging services to Melbourne’s eastern and outer eastern suburbs. In addition to testing and tagging of tools on construction sites, Prolux Electrical Contractors also specialise in the testing and tagging of office equipment and computers. Prolux Electrical Contractors provide electrical testing and tagging to clients ranging from small to medium businesses, right through to large organisations operating across multiple locations across Melbourne.
Additionally, as we are also Master Electricians, we can offer the convenience of repairing faulty devices on site, or even test and tag contractor tools whilst we undertake the electrical work on-site.