At Tesla Fire Systems, we stock a full range of emergency lights, exit signs and other related accessories. While we can supply with lights and other equipment, as well as providing light installation services, we’d also like to share some pertinent information about emergency lighting regulations in the Greater Toronto Area.
Emergency Lighting Requirements
In Canada, both commercial properties as well as many types of housing are required to have a certain level of emergency lighting installed. You can study the National Building Code of Canada to ensure that you have installed the correct amount and type of emergency lights in your building.
As an example, some building owners are required to place emergency lighting near all exits as well as in all corridors and in open floor areas that also serve as principal routes to an exit. The best way to ensure that you are in compliance would be to hire a specialist, such as Tesla Fire Systems, to come and take a look at your property and determine whether or not you are up to code.
There also are requirements regarding the level of brightness or illumination that is required. For instance, most of the lighting that you install must provide a level of illumination equal or greater to 10 lx.
This is an illumination measurement known as lux. Each unit of lux basically is equal the amount of illumination that one candle or one lumen would provide dispersed over an area of one meter. It’s a bit more scientific that that, of course, but that’s a very basic definition of the power of one unit of lux. So, in the simplest of terms, this 10 lx measurement would be equal to the power of about 10 candles.
In the 19th century, candlepower actually was a unit of measurement, but as our ability to establish more accurate measurement units improved and we switched to electricity rather than using candles and lanterns to light our homes, scientists developed and established new units to measure illuminance.
History aside, today’s requirements indicate that the average level of illumination provided by your emergency lighting must not be less than 10 lx. In order to meet this requirement, you will have to install sufficient lighting, and this can differ from depending on many factors. For instance, a larger room might need more emergency lighting than a smaller room.
Exit Sign Requirements
Did you know that if you own a building with two storeys or a building with an allowed occupancy of 150 or more people, you are required to place exit signs above each exit door. Of course, there also are requirements about the type of exit signs that you place above these doors. Exit signs might be visible as people approach the exit, they must be illuminated and they must be green or green and white.
In the United States, both red and green exit lights are allowable, but in Canada and throughout the European Union, green exit lights are the required option. This is because green is a colour more indicative of safety than red, which often triggers a symbol in the brain to “stop.” When it comes to an emergency, green triggers a response to “go” and escape from a potentially hazardous situation.
At Tesla Fire Systems, our emergency light selection includes several different types of green exit signs, but we do also sell a red exit light which may be suitable for businesses and residences in the United States. We also sell exit light guards to ensure that your exit signs cannot be damaged or removed by vandals and other nefarious persons.
Emergency Power Requirements
Of course, an emergency light or illuminated exit sign are only helpful if they actually are illuminated during an emergency. This is why the National Building Code of Canada also requires that you provide emergency power for your emergency lighting. This can be achieved using backup generators or batteries.
Keep in mind, that depending on the size and type of your building, there are different requirements regarding the amount of emergency power you need to provide. Some buildings need to ensure that there is up to two hours of emergency lighting while others only need to provide one hour or perhaps even just 30 minutes. These standards are set up to provide enough time for all occupants to safely exit a building during an emergency.
At Tesla Fire Systems, we carry a myriad of emergency lights and exit signs. We have three types of green exit signs, and while all three provide illumination, one includes additional emergency lights to help mark a path of egress.
As a side note, egress is an important word for building owners to learn about. A path of egress is simply a path of exit, but did you know that there are different types of doors? There are egress doors and ordinary doors, and your building’s egress doors must comply with building code standards.
An egress door is a type of door that must be a specific size and open a specific way. An egress door also cannot lock on both sides of the door. For instance, you may have an exit door that provides direct access to the outside. While people may not enter your building using this door, this egress door might have a bar on it that unlocks the door so that people may exit from that door during an emergency.
But, we digress. Our selection of emergency lighting products includes several different types of adjustable lights, which are ideal for corridors and hallways as well as larger open areas. If you emergency light batteries or light guards, we have those, as well, and we offer some of the lowest prices in the Greater Toronto Area.
If you need an emergency light, an exit sign or emergency light installation, give the team at Tesla Fire Systems a call at any time. We have more than 50 years of experience in commercial electrical work and can handle emergency light installation for any size and type of commercial property as well as multi-unit residential buildings, hotels, hospitals, schools and more.