Emergency Lighting

OCCUPANCY TYPE (new building)
(Sprinklered and Not Sprinklered)
NFPA 101, 2012 ( and 7.9) Yes, required.
(Sprinklered and Not Sprinklered)
NFPA 101, 2012 ( and 7.9) Yes, required where one of the following exists:
a) The building is 2 stories above the level of exit discharge
b) The occupancy is subject to 50 occupants above or below the level of exit of discharge
c) The total occupant load is subject to 300 occupants
HEALTHCARE NFPA 101, 2012 (18.2.9 and 7.9) Yes, required.
Check NFPA 99 for additional requirements if the building is equipped with life support system.
EDUCATIONAL (14.2.9 and 7.9) Yes, required.
(-) No requirement
(28.2.9 and 7.9) Yes, except if guest rooms has an exit direct to outside.
(30.2.9 and 7.9) Yes, required when building has > 12 dwelling units or > 3 stories in height
(36.2.9 and 7.9) Yes, required for Class A and Class B mercantile occupancy and mall building.
(42.2.9 and 7.9) Yes, required except for spaces occupied only during daylight hours with natural illumination in accordance with
(40.2.9) Yes, required,
Refer to 40.2.9 for exception.
The objective of having emergency lighting during emergencies or when the normal lighting of the occupied building fails. The emergency light shall fulfill the following functions:

  1. To indicate clearly and unambiguously the escape routes.
  2. To provide illumination along such routes to allow safe movement towards and through the exits provided.
  3. To ensure that fire alarm call points and fire fighting equipment provided along escape routes can be readily located.
  4. To permit operations concerned with safety measures.

For all buildings except for One-and-Two-Family Dwelling, Emergency Lighting shall be provided in all occupancies in the following areas;

  • along exit corridors, egress path, lobbies and exit staircases
  • over area if there are no explicit paths leading to corridors, lobbies and exits.
  • In hotel rooms or suites
  • Educational occupancies used as assembly, i.e. gymnasium, concert halls, auditoriums, theaters.
  • In office rooms more than 60sqm.

Notwithstanding the requirements in the clause above, emergency lighting shall be provided in the following locations;

  • Lift cars
  • Emergency command centers
  • generator rooms
  • basement car parks
  • fire pump rooms
  • area of refuge within the same building


  • Code Reference used is NFPA-101 2012 edition unless otherwise noted.
  • These information is not complete and intended to be used as quick references only, always refer to NFPA or your local codes for complete information.
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