Risk Assessment – Where To Light.


The first step in the design process is risk assessing. The responsible person should carry out an assessment of the hazards associated with a failure of the main lighting, with the assistance of a competent person.

This risk assessment should identify escape routes, open areas, points of emphasis, special locations, and any other area where a failure of the lighting could cause death or injury.  It needs to identify required exit and other safety signs.

Consideration should be taken of the use of the building and persons using the premises.



Once the risk assessment has been carried out, consultation should take place between, the responsible person, building owner, employer, enforcing agents, principal contractor, principal designer, and any other interested parties. This would be to evaluate the risks and facilitate the recommended preventative and protective measures.

Who carries out the risk assessment?


It is a legal requirement that the responsible person undertakes suitable risk assessments. They must employ competent persons to assist with this. The responsible person, under their control of the premises, is aware of the fire safety measures and procedures, and any particular circumstances that could lead to higher risk.

While the competent person may compile the risk assessment, they are carrying this out on behalf of the responsible person, who carries full liability under the law.

Notes on LED

Improved consistency of output, long life spans and quick start up times have made LED lighting the preferred choice for emergency systems. In fact, fluorescent lighting is now increasingly viewed as a legacy scheme.

However, this has some downsides; The performance of LED units is product specific, so replacement of luminaires must be carried out carefully. In the event of an ‘equal to or approved’ contract clause, or even during routine maintenance, re-calculation of photometric results is essential to maintain the integrity of the original design.

There is no such thing anymore as a ‘like for like’ replacement.

Building Plans


Should be made available at an early stage, and be populated with, escape routes, open areas, high risk areas, safety equipment (inc. fire detection systems), and points of emphasis as identified by the risk assessment.

Installation plans should be drawn up and supplied to the principal contractor and as installed drawings incorporated into the fire safety log book.

Luminaire Specification, Placement & Photometric Data


The principal designer will apply the standards to the risk assessment. Appropriate compliant product would be appraised and photometric calculations carried out.

The designer will pass installation drawings, photometric documentation, specification and luminaire schedules to the client for tender purposes.

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