What Are the Emergency Lighting Requirements in Commercial Bathrooms?

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Lighted exit signs are part of the emergency lighting requirements.
Lighted exit signs are part of the emergency lighting requirements. (Image: exit image by Joseph Pierce from Fotolia.com)

Commercial bathrooms need to be compliant with certain regulations regarding emergency lighting. If power service is interrupted in your building, building occupants need to be able to safely exit without getting hurt. Knowing what these regulations are will help you provide a safe building for all who enter it.

Lighting Controls

The lighting in the bathroom must be controlled automatically. The lights can come on when someone enters the bathroom, then turn off when that person leaves. However, most importantly, when the power goes off, the emergency lights must come on automatically.

Amount of Light Provided by Emegency Lights

According to the Life Safety Code Section 7.8.1.3 of NFPA 101, the "floors and other walking surfaces within an exit and within portions of the exit access and exit discharge designated in 7.8.1.1 shall be illuminated to values of at least one footcandle measured at the floor.” This will allow anyone to clearly see the signs marking the exit path from the bathroom.

Length of Time for Emergency Lighting

Emergency lighting needs to be provided for at least an hour and a half, giving building occupants time to find an exit.

Placement of Emergency Lights

Thanks to the position of stalls, providing the proper amount of emergency lighting can be difficult. Placing the emergency lighting directly over the stalls may be necessary.

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