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Record Emergency Lighting Fine of £400,000

A private landlord has been fined a record £400,000 over the lack of emergency lighting and other breaches of fire health and safety legislation (luxreview, 2018). It is therefore the perfect time to remind building owners, installers, architects and consultants of the revisions made to BS 5266-1 2016. Please note, this blog has been written to provide essential information on key changes found in BS 5266-1 2016, but should never be utilised as a substitute for the standard itself.

  1. Emergency Safety Lighting

BS 5266 now acknowledges that it is not always practical to fully evacuate a building, especially in care homes and hospitals where building occupants might be elderly or infirm. The standard therefore accepts that, a ‘stay put’ strategy may be the most appropriate option when no other risk has been identified, and has introduced the concept of ‘Emergency Safety Lighting’. Emergency Safety Lighting should provide a safe working environment for those who remain in the building; a risk assessment should therefore determine whether any additional precautions should be taken (for example, higher levels of illuminance and/or additional signage). For more information on Emergency Safety Lighting,


  1. Maintenance and Repair

Information regarding routine inspections and testing has been added under Clause 12 and pays particular attention to the need to ensure that appropriate precautions are taken during times when the system is not fully operable. With this in mind, there is also a strong recommendation to ensure that essential service spares are kept onsite to minimise system down time in the event of a failure. Further information regarding service and repair can be found under Clause 13, where it also recommends monthly testing and steers the installer towards self-testing systems.



  1. Auditable Documents

As in previous versions of the standard, BS 5266-1 2016 strongly recommends that the responsible person maintains accurate installation and maintenance records for auditing purposes. The standard provides various model documents for this purpose:


  • Annex H – Model completion certificate
  • Annex I – Model certificate for completion of small new installations
  • Annex J – Emergency Lighting Log Book
  • Annex K – Model certificate for verification of existing installations
  • Annex L – Additional guidance on the compliance checklist and report for an existing site
  • Annex M – Model periodic inspection and test certificate


Annex K and Annex L contain new information regarding existing installations. Instead of condemning an emergency lighting system when an appropriate log book and/ or certification cannot be provided, K1 and K2 have been introduced as a way of checking and validating the existing system. K1 is a model certificate of completion, which should be signed by the responsible person after the check list and report (model K2) has been completed. Please note, this means that the certificate designed for small emergency lighting installations, not exceeding 25 self-contained luminaires, is no longer a dual-purpose certificate.


We hope this blog has provided some useful information. If you would like access to the model auditable documents, these can be found at the bottom of our FIREscape Emergency Lighting web page.