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The design of emergency lighting holds significant importance in custodial settings. Consider the paradox: the need to facilitate escape in a facility primarily designed to confine individuals.

In prison association areas, back-of-house areas, education facilities, workshops, and indoor recreation areas, emergency lighting is a necessity. However, the required lux levels vary and are detailed in the MoJ Technical Standards.

This is also mandated in holding cells in magistrates’ courts and police custody suites. However, typical prison cells do not have emergency lighting. It is deemed safest to confine prisoners behind locked doors when there is no immediate risk to life.

Luminaires specified for custodial emergency applications must accommodate various power sources, including uninterrupted power supplies (UPS), central battery systems, and integral 3-hour emergency lighting—or a combination thereof. Additionally, emergency lighting for custodial use must possess heightened levels of vandal resistance and ingress protection.

Technical Support

Many general custodial areas can adhere to BS5266-1:2016 lighting standards. However, the MoJ and Home Office impose stringent Technical Standards, necessitating elevated emergency lighting levels.

This requirement extends to custodial cells, high-risk zones, secured doors or gatelines, and designated escape routes. Thus, specific illuminance levels are essential for various applications, coupled with precise light distribution criteria to achieve prescribed lux levels at different task heights. For instance, for over-door emergency luminaires, the MoJ and Home Office mandate a minimum of 15 lux at all secure door and gate positions along escape or evacuation routes where operational personnel handle keys or locks.

Attaining these illumination standards demands specially designed luminaires, such as our Gateline product, rather than adapting standard fixtures. Additionally, transitioning from fluorescent to LED light sources requires careful consideration. This is because the light distribution may significantly differ between the original and replacement LED luminaires or gear trays. Therefore, when upgrading to LED for energy efficiency, it’s crucial to ensure that the light levels of the new or modified luminaires comply with emergency lighting regulations.

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