Emergency Lighting (commercial)

(Marcel R. Cyr, CMI) #1

Need help from some of you guys on this one.

I am currently building a 9,000 s.f. Visitor's Center for the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay Harbor, Maine.

The electrical Contractor is installing emergency down lighting in a lot of areas that are designated to be emergency lighting. The down lighting came with a rough in ICC can and a remote ballast with a 2' whip on each end. One end goes in the fixture and the other end goes to a test button and a light.
Because it was some what intrusive for aesthics, my boss requested it be mounted up in the Attic space. Since it appears that it is suppose to be mounted in a box adjacent to the fixture and was mounted on a 2"x4" pedestal in the attic, which is only accessible through a 2'x2' access with an extension ladder.

My question, I guess, is should the test button and light indicator have to be visible near the fixture it'self? Can the test button be installed in the attic that is not quite readily accessible and not have the lamp visible for testing.

Maybe this is a question for Joe T., but figured I start here.

Thanks in advance.

Marcel

0 Likes

(Joe Tedesco) #2

700.12(F) Unit Equipment Individual unit equipment for emergency illumination shall consist of the following:
(1) A rechargeable battery
(2) A battery charging means
(3) Provisions for one or more lamps mounted on the equipment, or shall be permitted to have terminals for remote lamps, or both
(4) A relaying device arranged to energize the lamps automatically upon failure of the supply to the unit equipment
The batteries shall be of suitable rating and capacity to supply and maintain at not less than 87 1/ 2 percent of the nominal battery voltage for the total lamp load associated with the unit for a period of at least 1 1/ 2 hours, or the unit equipment shall supply and maintain not less than 60 percent of the initial emergency illumination for a period of at least 1 1/ 2 hours. Storage batteries, whether of the acid or alkali type, shall be designed and constructed to meet the requirements of emergency service.
Unit equipment shall be permanently fixed in place (i.e., not portable) and shall have all wiring to each unit installed in accordance with the requirements of any of the wiring methods in Chapter 3. Flexible cord-and-plug connection shall be permitted, provided that the cord does not exceed 900 mm (3 ft) in length. The branch circuit feeding the unit equipment shall be the same branch circuit as that serving the normal lighting in the area and connected ahead of any local switches. The branch circuit that feeds unit equipment shall be clearly identified at the distribution panel. Emergency luminaires (illumination fixtures) that obtain power from a unit equipment and are not part of the unit equipment shall be wired to the unit equipment as required by 700.9 and by one of the wiring methods of Chapter 3.
Exception: In a separate and uninterrupted area supplied by a minimum of three normal lighting circuits, a separate branch circuit for unit equipment shall be permitted if it originates from the same panelboard as that of the normal lighting circuits and is provided with a lock-on feature.

0 Likes

(Ben D. Kelly) #3

Uh, ya the test button needs to be accessible beside the fixture.

0 Likes

(Ben D. Kelly) #4

The fixture "papers" will also probably say they need to be readily accessible and in view of the fixture. The electrical inspector may also ask where they are at.

0 Likes

(Larry Kage, CMI) #5

You translated that from Joe's post? Or did you just know it?

Joe, I don't see where your post answers Marcel's question.

Can you help me out here?...maybe bold the section or something?

Maybe I'm just blind.

0 Likes

(Ben D. Kelly) #6

I am still cyphering on the other post. lol

0 Likes

(Michael D. Bledsoe) #7

Here is some info from NFPA

SECTION 5-9
EMERGENCY LIGHTING

5-9.1 General.
5-9.1.1 Emergency lighting facilities for means of egress shall be provided in accordance with this section for every building or structure where required in Chapters 8 through 30. For the purposes of this requirement, exit access shall include only designated stairs, aisles, corridors, ramps, escalators, and passageways leading to an exit.
5-9.1.2 Where maintenance of illumination depends upon changing from one energy source to another, there shall be no appreciable interruption of illumination during the changeover.
5-9.2 Performance of System.
5-9.2.1* **Emergency illumination shall be provided for a period of 1-1/2 hours in the event of failure of normal lighting. Emergency lighting facilities shall be arranged to provide initial illumination that is no less than an average of 1 footcandle (10 lx) and a minimum at any point of .1 footcandle (1 lx) measured along the path of egress at floor level. Illumination levels may decline to .6 footcandle (6 lx) average and a minimum at any point of .06 footcandle (.6 lx) at the end of the emergency illumination lighting time duration. A maximum to minimum illumination uniformity ratio of 40 to 1 shall not be exceeded.
**5-9.2.2
* The emergency lighting system shall be so arranged as to provide the required illumination automatically in the event of any interruption of normal lighting, such as any failure of public utility or other outside electrical power supply, opening of a circuit breaker or fuse, or any manual act(s), including accidental opening of a switch controlling normal lighting facilities.
5-9.2.4 **Battery operated emergency lights shall use only reliable types of rechargeable batteries provided with suitable facilities for maintaining them in properly charged condition. Batteries used in such lights or units shall be approved for their intended use and shall comply with NFPA 70, National Electrical Code.®
**5-9.2.5
The emergency lighting system shall be either continuously in operation or capable of repeated automatic operation without manual intervention.
**5-9.3 **Testing and Maintenance (See Section 31-1) 31-1.3.1 Whenever or wherever any device, equipment, [or] system...is required for compliance with the provisions of this Code, such device, equipment, [or] system...shall thereafter be permanently maintained unless the Code exempts such maintenance.


31-1.3.4 Any equipment requiring test or periodic operation to assure its maintenance shall be tested or operated as specified elsewhere in this Code or as directed by the authority having jurisdiction.
31-1.3.5 **Systems shall be under the supervision of a responsible person who shall ensure that proper tests are made at specified intervals and have general charge of all alterations and additions.
**31-1.3.7
Periodic Testing of Emergency Lighting Equipment.
A functional test shall be conducted on every required emergency lighting system at 30-day intervals for a minimum of 30 seconds. An annual test shall be conducted for the 1-1/2 hour duration. Equipment shall be fully operational for the duration of the test. Written records of testing shall be kept by the owner for inspection by the authority having jurisdiction.

0 Likes

(Larry Kage, CMI) #8

Oh, I see Joe's post is gone...maybe it was a *secret **code. :cool: *

0 Likes

(Paul W. Abernathy) #9

When we do emergency lighting and egress lighting and signage we have a circuit dedicated to the emergency illumination.

NEC is clear on the requirement for testing and would have to be ready available for testing as shown in Art 700.4 on the testing prospect...not sure the AHJ could test it if in the attic area.....he most certainly wont bring his ladder with him....how about the fire marshall????

Also emergency systems need a Visual or Audible to notify when it is not functioning properly...Art 700.7.....since the fixture is designed as such it would be practicle to mount the test beside the fixture itself...

Can you get me the specs on the lights......if I can see that I could tell you more.....

Is your electrical contractor dedicating a circuit to this...?

0 Likes

(Jay Moge) #10

I agree. emergancy lighting requeres periodic maintenance which includes testing the lights themselvs. pushing the test button is the first step, and if it's in the attic, then it's not "testable". at least that's what the fire marshals report will say and any (if any) annual inspections. the property i run in Mass. requires annual tests of all fire/emergency and egress systems, and as the head of the maintenance dept. for the property, i get a "hit list" every year of deficiancies i must repair. replacing the emergency light that are burnt out is always on there. i don't think the marshal (or his boys) would want to climb a ladder into a space that isn't on fire. but that's here, not sure of maine.

0 Likes

(Marcel R. Cyr, CMI) #11

First of all, I would like to thank everyone in doing the leg work on helping me out on this topic. As usual thanks to this board forum, everyone can help others.

The information you supplied me that I accessed this morning was of great help.

Discussed the situation with the Electrical Foreman. I did receive a comment from, I believe Joe T., and somehow found it's way throught the backdoor of my e-mail. I thought I would print it out for everyone to see. Hope noone minds.


700.12(F) Unit Equipment Individual unit equipment for emergency illumination shall consist of the following:
(1) A rechargeable battery
(2) A battery charging means
(3) Provisions for one or more lamps mounted on the equipment, or shall be permitted to have terminals for remote lamps, or both
(4) A relaying device arranged to energize the lamps automatically upon failure of the supply to the unit equipment
The batteries shall be of suitable rating and capacity to supply and maintain at not less than 87 1/ 2 percent of the nominal battery voltage for the total lamp load associated with the unit for a period of at least 1 1/ 2 hours, or the unit equipment shall supply and maintain not less than 60 percent of the initial emergency illumination for a period of at least 1 1/ 2 hours. Storage batteries, whether of the acid or alkali type, shall be designed and constructed to meet the requirements of emergency service.
Unit equipment shall be permanently fixed in place (i.e., not portable) and shall have all wiring to each unit installed in accordance with the requirements of any of the wiring methods in Chapter 3. Flexible cord-and-plug connection shall be permitted, provided that the cord does not exceed 900 mm (3 ft) in length. The branch circuit feeding the unit equipment shall be the same branch circuit as that serving the normal lighting in the area and connected ahead of any local switches. The branch circuit that feeds unit equipment shall be clearly identified at the distribution panel. Emergency luminaires (illumination fixtures) that obtain power from a unit equipment and are not part of the unit equipment shall be wired to the unit equipment as required by 700.9 and by one of the wiring methods of Chapter 3.
Exception: In a separate and uninterrupted area supplied by a minimum of three normal lighting circuits, a separate branch circuit for unit equipment shall be permitted if it originates from the same panelboard as that of the normal lighting circuits and is provided with a lock-on feature.


Compliance to what exists complies to most of this I believe.
I believe we are in compliance with everything said, except that is it readily accessible?
The light fixtures are all on battery back up and dedicated circuits, but to test them, you have to go in the attic and see if the light is on indicating battery charging.
Attic is accessible through a 2'x2' ceiling access where you need a 12' ladder on one, and a 16'extension ladder on the other. Seeing that there are five AHU in the attic that will need periodic checks for filters, greasing, belts, etc., would you think that testing the emergency lights at this time would be prudent?

Not quite readily accessible, but once you get your fat #ss up there, it is accessible ha. ha..

Paul A.

Thanks for the respose:

The Recessed Downlighting 1143 Lytecaster by Lightolier and IC flourescent comes with remote ballast installation kit. IS:1102FEM if that means anything.
Thanks.

Michael B.

 Thanks for the information, and curious as to where or what code you refered too in the NFPA?

I have access to all these 2000 codes, but could not find it. Was it from the NFPA 5000?
Thanks.

I have a meeting tomorrow for the project and will bring this documentation with me and let him make the decision. Then when the State Electrical Inspector comes in for the Final, we will go from there I guess.

Thanks to everyone as usual.
Sorry this ended up so long and Thank you Joe T. for your part.

Marcel :) :) :)

0 Likes

(Ben D. Kelly) #12

I believe the indication light on the remote switch has to be seen from the ground. To indicate if the battery is not charging. That is my story and I am sticking to it.

0 Likes

(Marcel R. Cyr, CMI) #13

Ben;
I totally agree with you, I am only trying to gather as many opinions that I can on this subject due the fact it is new in this commercial market up here and offensive looking to these Architects that don't know what the hell their Consultants are specifying.
Meeting tomorrow and will advise of how it went once I show my boss, that what he requested to please the Architect is not quite right.

Thanks.

Marcel :) :)

0 Likes

(Michael D. Bledsoe) #14

NFPA 101 Life Safety Code. Glad you got the answers to your question.

0 Likes

(Marcel R. Cyr, CMI) #15

Thanks,

Marcel :) :)

0 Likes

(Wilfred O. Hellner) #16

Yes it has to be accessible!!!!!! I work in a health care facility . NFPA101 will tell you. They also have to be tested on a monthly basis and documented as such.

0 Likes

(Marcel R. Cyr, CMI) #17

Thanks Wilfred;

Just so everyone else know what happened at last weeks' meeting, I advised my Employer, that by the way use to work for me back 36 years ago, and well understanding, that I had done research on this accessability to these test buttons. He took my concern serious and discussed it with the Architect.
Beleive it or not as I mentioned in the earlier posts, the Architect did not have a clue as to why his Electrical Consultant had specified these type of emergency lights instead of the normal wall packs. The first call he made was to his Consultant, and off the cuff could not give him a straight answer.

One area of the building, "Cafe' shop" had 12 down lights in a suspended ceiling along with their test buttons and visual lights next to it. No one like that, and the consensus was to remove them and leave them above the tile ceilings, all but three to light up the exit. The room is about 400 s.f. and should be adequate to light up they exit.
Next question in my mind is, dose that provide enough foot candles to meet code? I believe it is in the area of 3 foot candles per square feet, but not sure.

The other areas with these test lights in drywall area ceilings were left mounted in the attic that is only accessible with a 12 foot ladder in one area and a 16' extention ladder in the other.

Seems like everyone wants to gamble that the State Electrical Inspector will let this fly as to wether or not accessiblity has been met.

Closing will be at the end of this month and expect to let everyone know how it went.

My concerns were expressed on the job using the information I received from everyone, and greatly appreciate it. Now they know where I stand on the Project as a Project Superintendant and issues at hand.

The outcome is not my disicion to make.

Thanks everyone.

Marcel :) :) :)

0 Likes

(Wilfred O. Hellner) #18

Good for you!!! Let me know how it turns out. OK?

0 Likes

(Marcel R. Cyr, CMI) #19

I will.

Marcel :) :) :)

0 Likes

(Dale Duffy) #20

Marcel, this was in Mike Holts newsletter today.

By Mike Holt for EC&M Magazine

Emergency Lighting

What are they and what are the rules?
Emergency Power Systems (Article 700) are at the top of the hierarchy of backup power systems. Legally required standby *systems, which fall under Article 701, hold the number two spot. *Optional *standby systems (Article 702) are third in the pecking order. The level of importance is the order in which they appear in the NEC.
A system is legally required when any government agency having jurisdiction says it is. The rules that dictate what kinds of loads are legally required (or emergency) are found in the locally adopted building code, such as the International Building Code or NFPA 101 Life Safety Code. Unlike emergency systems, legally required systems do not directly protect the lives of the public at large. They prevent shutting down specific loads, the loss of which would create hazards or impede rescue operations. Hospital communications systems, for example, fall under Article 701 because evacuation instructions announced over the public address system are part of a rescue operation. Article 701 governs the installation, operation, and maintenance of such systems.
Legally required circuits and equipment supply illumination or power upon interruption of the normal electrical supply. They provide electric power to aid in firefighting, rescue operations, control of health hazards, and similar operations. They typically supply such loads as communications systems, ventilation and smoke removal systems, sewage disposal, lighting, and potentially dangerous industrial processes. Surprisingly enough, they might also include fire pumps and elevators, which many people automatically assume are emergency loads. The definition of “Legally Required Standby Systems” in 701.2 contains a Fine Print Note that lists some of the items that might be a legally standby system…but be careful—Fine Print Notes are informational only [90.5(C)]. Don’t depend on this Fine Print Note as a comprehensive list. Always consult the AHJ and/or Fire Marshall to find out what is and what is not legally required…never just guess.
When it’s optional
A standby power system is *optional
when it’s not required by Article 700 or Article 701. These systems protect public or private facilities or property where life safety doesn’t depend on the performance of the system. These systems are not required for rescue operations.
They may supply on-site generated power to selected loads automatically or manually. These are typically installed to provide an alternate source of power. This can be for a variety of facilities, including industrial and commercial buildings, farms, and even residences. They serve such loads as heating and refrigeration systems, data-processing systems, communications systems, and industrial processes. They may also serve any load that the customer considers important enough to warrant a backup system, but not important enough for a building code to require it, such as break room refrigerator or that all important coffee maker.
These systems may be permanently installed, or they may be arranged for a connection to a premises wiring system from a portable alternate power supply (Figure 702-10). A portable generator doesn’t fall within the scope of Article 702 unless the generator is connected to the premises wiring (Figure 702-2).
It should come as no surprise that the AHJ must approve all equipment use in legally required systems [701.4]. What may surprise you is this same rule applies to optional systems [702.4].
Tests and Maintenance
While there are compelling operational and economic reasons to conduct testing and maintenance of optional systems, doing so is not an NEC requirement. But for legally required systems, it is [701.5].
Legally required standby system testing consists of acceptance testing and operational testing. You must maintain records of testing and maintenance [701.5(D)].
Conduct or Witness Test. The AHJ must conduct or witness an acceptance test of the emergency system upon completion of the installation, and periodically thereafter [701.5(D)].
Tested Periodically. Legally required standby systems must be periodically tested to ensure they are in proper operating condition. Running the system to power the loads of the facility is a generally accepted method of operational testing. In fact, you must provide a means to test these systems under the maximum anticipated load condition [701.5(E)].
Capacity and Rating
Legally required and optional standby systems must have adequate capacity to safely carry all loads that are expected to operate simultaneously [701.6 and 702.5]. Because optional standby systems are not critical, the user of the system can select which load(s) to connect to the system.
Additionally, both legally required standby system and optional standby system equipment must be suitable for the maximum available fault current at line terminals. The legally required standby alternate power source can supply legally required standby and optional standby system loads under either of these conditions [701.6]:

  • The alternate power source has adequate capacity to handle all connected loads.
  • Automatic selective load pickup and load shedding is provided to ensure that the legally required system takes priority over the optional system. Power Sources To protect utility workers, the backup system must have approved transfer equipment. Legally required standby systems and optional standby systems can be on the same transfer switch (emergency systems must have their own [700.6(D)]). On legally required systems, transfer equipment must be identified for standby use and be approved by the AHJ [701.7]. Where an outdoor generator has a readily accessible disconnecting means within sight (within 50 ft) of the structure, you don’t need an additional disconnecting means for the generator feeder conductors that serve or pass through the structure 701.11(5) and 702.1.

Signage
To warn emergency response personnel of multiple electrical supply systems, both legally required and optional standby systems are required to have a sign indicating the presence of the system. This signage must be placed at the service disconnecting means for the structure, and must indicate the physical location of the standby systems power source [701.9(A) and 702.8(A)].
The remaining Chapter 7 power source requirements apply to legally required systems [701.11], but not to optional power sources.
If the normal supply fails, legally required power must be available within 60 seconds (as opposed to 10 seconds for emergency systems). The supply system for the legally required standby power source must be one of these seven types:

  • Storage batteries [701.11(A)]. These must be of suitable rating and capacity to maintain the total load for 1.5 hours, without the voltage applied to the load falling below 87.5% percent of normal.
  • Generator Set [701.11(B)]. If prime mover-driven, a generator acceptable to the AHJ (and sized per 701.6) must have the means to automatically start the prime mover upon failure of the normal service. Where internal combustion engines are the prime movers, you need a two-hour on-site fuel supply (Figure 701-2).
  • Uninterruptible power supplies [701.11(C)]. A UPS must comply with the requirements for batteries and generators.
  • Separate Service [701.11(D)]. An additional service installed per Article 230 can serve as a legally required source of power, but only if it is acceptable to the AHJ (Figure 701-4). To minimize the possibility of simultaneous interruption of the legally required standby supply, a separate service drop or lateral must be electrically and physically separated from all other service conductors.
  • Connection Ahead of Service Disconnecting Means [701.11(E)]. Where acceptable to the AHJ, connection ahead of (not within) the same cabinet, enclosure, or vertical switchboard section as the service disconnecting means is permitted (Figure 701-5). To prevent simultaneous interruption of supply, the legally required standby service disconnect must be sufficiently separated from the normal service disconnection means. See 230.82 for equipment permitted on the supply side of a service disconnecting means. You cannot have more than six service disconnects, including the disconnecting means for the standby system [230.71(A)].
  • Fuel Cell Systems [701.11(F)]. A fuel cell system meeting the requirements of Article 692 can be used provided the system is capable of carrying the load for at least two hours of full demand operation.
  • Unit Equipment [701.11(G)]. Unit equipment consisting of a battery, a battery charging means and automatic actuation can serve to supply some legally required loads, such as lighting. Where unit equipment is used, the battery must maintain at least 87.5% of battery voltage for at least 90 minutes. Wiring and Circuit Protection The wiring for these systems can be in raceways, cables, boxes, and cabinets with other general wiring [701.10 and 702.9]. You don’t need to provide ground-fault protection of equipment on the alternate source of legally required standby power systems [701.17]. But you must ensure selective coordination [Article 100] of the Overcurrent Protection Devices (OCPDs) of legally required power systems with all supply-side OCPDs [701.18]. Selective coordination for optional standby systems is not a code requirement. Grounding and bonding If the system is separately derived, ground it per 250.30 [250.20(D)]. If it’s not separately derived, bond it to the system grounding electrode. Nothing in 701 explicitly states this, yet it’s explicitly stated in 702.10(B). When you step back and take a look at what each kind of standby system is trying to accomplish, the requirements make sense. Article 700 applies to systems or equipment required to protect people who are in an emergency and are trying to get out, while Article 701 applies to systems or equipment needed to aid the people responding to the emergency. Article 700 lighting provides an exit path, but Article 701 lighting illuminates fire hydrants and switchgear areas. Article 702 systems don’t protect people—they protect against financial loss. During the mass power outage in Chicago a few years ago, food storage facilities and medical laboratories lost millions of dollars of inventory. Optional standby systems could have prevented those losses, which is one reason we see optional standby systems in facilities where loss of power causes business interruptions. In an extended outage, the logistics of fuel delivery becomes a problem and this can force you to abandon your optional standby system. In 1994, for example, an ice storm shut down Kentucky interstate highways for three days. Companies that ran out of fuel for their optional standby systems were barred from “borrowing” the fuel from their legally required or emergency systems. If you can’t supply your legally required systems, you can’t legally operate. If you can’t supply your emergency systems, you typically can’t occupy the premises. To ensure that you don’t confuse what’s optional with what’s legally required, walk down your systems and identify which non-emergency circuits and equipment prevent danger or aid in rescuing people. Review this list with the AHJ and/or Fire Marshall, making any necessary additions. Everything else is optional.
0 Likes