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NCC 2022 Standards Spotlight: Emergency Lighting and Exit Signs for Buildings

July 2, 2023

With the National Construction Code (NCC) 2022 being adopted by the States & Territories on 1 May 2023, we are reviewing some of the key standards that are primary references of the NCC as part of a 4-part ‘NCC 2022 Standards Spotlight Series’. First is AS/NZS 2293.1:2018 - Emergency lighting and exit signs for buildings, Part 1: system design, installation and commissioning.  

What is AS/NZS 2293.1:2018?

AS/NZS 2293.1:2018 provides the relevant requirements and guidance for the design, installation and commissioning of emergency lighting and exit signage for designated spaces within buildings. The standard aims to ensure an acceptable level of illumination to the nominated areas for the safe evacuation of occupants from those spaces in an emergency.

It is also a primary referenced document in the NCC 2022.  

Who is this standard for?

Designers, installers and certifiers of emergency lighting and exit signs, as well as councils, fire authorities, and emergency lighting manufacturers.

What’s changed for NCC 2022?

Following the release of NCC 2019, AS/NZS 2293.1:2018 was amended in 2021 to:  

  • Include new lumen depreciation clauses for stairwells
  • Address labelling requirements  
  • Make a number of editorial corrections

Summary of key changes

Lumen Depreciation:

Lumen depreciation clauses were introduced into the standard in the 2018 revision to specify the amount of light needed to enable people to safely escape a building in black- out conditions.

The standard is designed to test for the ‘worst case scenario’. An old light source or an old battery is likely to produce a lower light output than that of a new light tested in a laboratory to gain approval and a photometric light output rating.

Lumen depreciation for stairwells was omitted in the original revision and has now been added to align with the other lumen depreciation clauses.

Labeling Requirements:

The standard states that it is imperative for the ongoing maintenance and in spot checking of emergency lights and exit signs that the “charge indicator” is seen from all angles. This tells the operator that the light is connected to mains and is charging its battery.

Editorial Corrections:  

Minor editorial changes were made to the standard including text corrections, renumbering of clauses, and updating technical drawings.

Other changes include:

  • Correction of the fire rating originally specified for the final sub-circuits in a Central (Battery) Supplied System.
  • A table added to show the correct colours to be used for exit sign panels produced and fastened over exit doors.
  • Editorial changes to the spacing tables in appendix E.

AS/NZS 2293.1:2018 and 1:2021, Emergency lighting and exit signs for buildings, Part 1: system design, installation and commissioning is available via the Standards Australia Store and our distribution partners.

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