8.1.1 Exit lighting
Rationale - Clause 8.1.1
The exit lighting shall be positioned so that the failure of any single lighting unit will not leave any area in darkness. For essential areas such as exit staircases, internal and external passageways, there shall be no interruption of illumination exceeding 1 sec during the changeover from one energy source to another. This will ensure occupants can see their way down via exit staircase without fear of tripping.
a. Exits of all buildings, except for PG I, shall be provided with artificial lighting
facilities to the satisfaction of the requirements under this Code.
b. The minimum illuminance to be provided for all exits and the spacing for luminaires shall be in accordance with the requirements in SS 563.
c. The delay between the failure of the electrical supply to normal lighting and the energisation of the exit lighting shall not exceed 1 sec.
8.1.2 Emergency lighting for corridors and lobbies
a. Emergency lighting shall be provided in all corridors and lobbies of all buildings except PG I.
b. The minimum level of illuminance, the spacing of luminaires and the maximum delay for emergency lighting required in this clause shall be the same as that for the exit lighting.
8.1.3 Emergency lighting for occupied areas
a. For all buildings except PG I or II, emergency lighting shall be provided in the occupied areas following the requirements below:
(1) along paths leading to corridors, lobbies and exits in all occupied areas where the direct distance from the entry point of the corridor, lobby or exit to the furthest point in the area concerned exceeds 13m; or
(2) over the whole of such area if there are no explicit paths leading to corridors, lobbies and exits.
b. The provision of emergency lighting is exempted for:
(1) open-to-sky roof terrace/ garden; and
(2) open-sided single storey building, with floor area not exceeding 200m2 and openings that constitute at least 80% of the perimeter wall area (measured along the roof eaves).
Effective Date: 01 Mar 2019
c. Notwithstanding the requirements in Cl.8.1.3a. above, emergency lighting shall be provided in the following
(1) Lift cars as stipulated in this Code;
(2) Fire Command Centres;
(3) Generator rooms;
(4) Basement and aboveground multi-storey car parks;
(5) Fire pump rooms; and
(6) Areas of refuge within the same building.
Rationale - Clause 8.1.3c
The emergency lighting enable the occupants/maintenance personnel in the mentioned locations to evacuate safely in times of power failure. In addition, the emergency lighting will help firefighters to gain access into any of these rooms or spaces for firefighting or operations purposes.
d. The minimum level of illuminance shall comply with the requirements in SS 563.
e. The delay between the failure of the electrical supply to normal lighting and the energisation of the emergency lighting for occupied areas shall not exceed 15 secs.
8.1.4 Emergency lighting for firefighting facilities
Rationale - Clause 8.1.4
The purpose of illuminating these locations is to facilitate the occupants and/or firefighters to readily locate fire protection devices and firefighting equipment when normal power supply is interrupted during a fire emergency.
a. Fire alarm panels, fire alarm call points and firefighting equipment shall be
adequately illuminated at all times so that they can be readily located.
b. The minimum level of illuminance shall comply with the requirements in SS 563.
c. The delay between the failure of the electrical supply to normal lighting and the energisation of the emergency lighting for firefighting facilities shall not exceed 15 secs.
8.1.5 Secondary source of power supply
a. The delay for energisation of the exit and emergency lighting systems between normal supply and the secondary source shall be as stipulated in the relevant clauses.
b. Duration of the secondary source of power supply shall comply with the requirements in SS 563.
c. Location, arrangement and control, installation of electrical wiring of the secondary source of supply, be it in the form of battery, standby generator, inverter or other accepted equipment, shall comply with the requirements in SS 563.
All exit and emergency luminaires required by this Code shall be of approved type as
specified in SS 563.
8.1.7 Exit and exit directional signs
(1) The entrance to every exit on every floor shall be clearly indicated by an exit sign placed over the exit door. Such signs shall be placed so as to be clearly visible at all times.
(2) Exit sign shall be provided over all the exit access doors for rooms with more than one door. (See Diagram 8.1.7a.(2))
(3) Exit sign shall be provided over final discharge door within exit enclosure such as exit staircase and internal exit passageway having other exit/ exit access door opening into the exit enclosure at the discharge floor (see Diagram 8.1.7a.(3)).
Effective Date: 1 Mar 2023
Exit sign is not required under the following situations:
(a) PG I and II buildings
(b) Room provided with emergency lighting
When a room is provided with only one door (see Diagram 8.1.7a.(4)(b).
(c) Room without emergency lighting
(i) When a room is provided with only one door and the direct distance from the furthest distance in the room to the exit access door is 7m or less (see Diagram 8.1.7a.(4)(c)(i) – 1 & 2); or
(ii) When the furthest point in the room to the exit access door is 13m or less and wall of the room comprises not less than 50% clear glazing facing (see Diagram 8.1.7a.(4)(c)(ii)):
• an internal corridor covered by emergency lighting,
• an external corridor, or
• the external of the building.
(d) Open-sided single storey building, with floor area not exceeding 200m2 and openings that constitute at least 80% of the perimeter wall area (measured along the roof eaves).
(e) When a room or internal space is fully open towards an external corridor or the external of a building.
(f) Exit enclosure such as exit staircase and internal exit passageway not provided with final discharge door (see Diagram 8.1.7a.(4)(f)).
(1) In long corridors, in open floor areas, and in all situations where the location of the exits may not be readily visible, directional signs shall be provided to serve as guides from all portions of the corridors or floors. (See Diagram 8.1.7b.(1))
(2) In rooms where the line of sight to the exit access door is obstructed, directional sign shall be provided.
Directional sign is not required under the following situations:
(a) PG I and II buildings.
(b) Open-to-sky roof terrace/ garden.
(c) Open-sided single storey building, with floor area not exceeding 200m2 and openings that constitute at least 80% of the perimeter wall area (measured along the roof eaves).
c. Low level signs
Additional low level or floor-mounted exit and exit directional signs shall be provided in hotel accommodation floors including boarding houses.
Rationale - Clause 8.1.7c
Low level or floor-mounted signs are not intended to replace standard exit signs but are designed to aid building occupants to get to the exits should smoke obscure the exits and exit directional signs mounted at above door height.
d. Signs within exit staircase
Rationale - Clause 8.1.7d
The purpose of providing signage within exit staircases is to prevent occupants from travelling beyond the discharge level into the basement. The signage helps to inform occupants in the exit staircase enclosure on the level of exit discharge to the safe external space.
(1) Where the SCDF has allowed under Cl.2.3.5d. for upper storey staircase to be continuous with that serving the basement, appropriate
signage, including pictorials, shall be placed at strategic location inside the staircase to direct occupants out of the building in times of emergency.
(2) Where the direction of travel to exit discharge is upward, the staircase signage required under Cl.2.3.1b. shall comply with SS 508.
e. Electrically-powered exit and directional signs
The legends, dimensions, design and installation of electrically-powered exit and directional signs shall comply with SS 563. Either graphic or text format can be used for the design of the signage.
f. Self-luminous sign
The use of self-luminous exit and directional signs powered by radioactive material are permitted in buildings, provided the signs comply with UL 924, SS 563 and SS 508 (Part 1, 2, 3 & 5). Either graphic or text format can be used for the design of the signage. In addition, SS 563 Part 1 shall be complied with for determination of the viewing distance with distance factor (Z) fixed at 50.
Note to QPs on Clause 8.1.7f
Note to QPs
With the withdrawn of BS 5499 Part 2, all self-illuminating exit and directional signs powered by radioactive materials shall comply and tested to the testing standard UL 924. For radioactive materials to be permitted, such material shall meet the minimum 50 lux illuminance. Where the minimum 50 lux illuminance is not achievable, such signs shall be externally lit by a nearby emergency luminaires.
8.1.8 Photoluminescent marking
Rationale - Clause 8.1.8
The provision of photoluminescent marking/tape was introduced to eliminate total darkness scenario where all essential emergency lighting failed during a fire emergency.
a. In all buildings, except PG I & II, photoluminescent marking/ tape to guide occupants along evacuation routes to appropriate exit shall be provided:
(1) along internal walls and/ or floors of the exit staircase, smoke-free lobby and fire lift lobby;
(2) on the doors of smoke-free lobby, fire lift lobby and exit staircase; and
(3) along corridor with exit directional signs.
b. The width of photoluminescent marking or tape shall be at least 50mm and be placed at low level. The bottom of the low level sign shall not be less than 150mm or more than 400mm above the floor level.
c. Omission of photoluminescent marking/ tape is permitted on the following conditions:
(1) the emergency power supply of the exit lightings, exit signs and directional signs in the above locations shall be self-contained battery pack (single point emergency lighting system) in compliance with SS 563 or central battery supply backed up by stand-by generator;
(2) there shall be at least 2 emergency luminaires in the smoke-free lobby, fire lift lobby and corridor with exit directional signs, such that no part of such spaces shall be left in total darkness should there be failure of any one of the emergency luminaires; and
(3) there shall be at least one emergency luminaire at every exit staircase landing.