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Enfield Council lights the way to fire safety

Published Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Eighty-five year old, Colin Lee, a registered blind Enfield Council resident of Dodsley Place in Edmonton, is delighted with the installation of a new low level lighting system into his housing block.

The system not only guides him safely out of the building but also guides other residents out of the four-storey block safely should a fire break out. Traditional electric lighting on ceilings and walls can be obscured by thick smoke rising, but at low levels this lighting is easily seen and can save lives.

Enfield Council is the first in the country to respond to the need for measures of this kind for its residents and also the first to install the new fully certified system which complies with both fire and health and safety legal requirements.

Mr Lee said, “For me it is a great reassurance. For the first time in ten years I can now see the staircase as well as each step. It has given me the confidence to go up and down the stairs without the fear of falling down them. It is certainly helpful not just to me but everyone who lives here. It is a great improvement”

The new photoluminescent low level lighting system can be seen easily in normal light conditions, darkness and even in thick smoke.

Cllr Ahmet Oykener, Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, added, “This is the first photoluminescent low level emergency lighting system fitted into a medium rise housing block, anywhere in the UK.

“It follows an earlier installation into one of our 18 storey blocks and we are really pleased with the benefits it provides for our residents -not only in the event of an emergency but also in terms of everyday general safety.

“It clearly defines the means of escape and leads people to safety. We wanted a good safe system to prevent people becoming trapped – and one that gives them the confidence to find the safe routes to escape.

“Our senior management team, worked alongside specialist fire risk consultants, Euro Compliance and the decision to install the system was based on a review of the recommendations made in the two Coroners’ Rule 43 letters, relating to fires in Lakanal House, Southwark and Shirley Towers, Hampshire.”

The system provides everything that Enfield Council is looking for and fulfils all of the recommendations and legal requirements in all areas relating to signage and emergency lighting.

Most importantly for Enfield Council it provides residents with a system that will guide them out of the building in the event of a fire and smoke conditions, but it also provides vital information to fire fighters.

Phil Williams, Operations Director, at Euro Compliance, said, “I congratulate Enfield in being the first council in the country to make this important and worthwhile decision for their residents. This is a fire safety system that is not only internationally recognised but it is also a system legally required in many countries such as the USA and Japan. It will provide peace of mind for the residents of Dodsley Place and of Scott House.”

Photoluminescent systems eliminate the requirement for electrical emergency lighting as well as its testing, maintenance and in some cases the upgrading of existing systems. It is estimated that these systems, will save Enfield Council millions of pounds and will also have a positive effect on the council’s carbon footprint.

Enfield Council manages over 11,000 homes and plans to install the system into more of its housing blocks.

Photoluminescent emergency lighting systems
Photoluminescent guidance systems emit light after absorbing photons (electromagnetic radiation), from any light source, either natural or electrical.

Materials used in manufacturing the systems are made from a non- toxic and non-radioactive pigment called Strontium Aluminate.

Low level photoluminescent systems are used around the world in passenger aircraft, all passenger and commercial ships, passenger trains, oil rigs, underground and metro train tunnels and stations, road tunnels, hotels, high rise buildings, public and commercial buildings, sports arenas, opera houses, the Pentagon, and British military vehicles.

• Photoluminescent systems can save millions on maintenance and installation of electrical systems. It is a more economic and effective alternative.

• The system is fitted at low level below smoke reservoirs, whereas most electrical emergency lighting is fitted on ceilings (in the smoke reservoir). In many cases this renders existing electrical emergency lighting systems useless (as well as conventional electrical everyday lighting)

• The system is already a legal requirement in many countries around the world and has been for many years ( in USA, Japan, Spain, Norway)

• The system was first made a legal requirement in buildings over 75 feet tall in New York in 2004 (Local Law 26) as a result of the first attack on the Twin Towers in February 1993. It has since been written into the International Building Code.

• These systems are a legal requirements on aeroplanes, all commercial ships, passenger trains and oil rigs

For more information/images please contact Phil Williams on 07823 331846

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