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Emergency lighting

Design & Build contracts must not neglect the right emergency lighting

One of the big casualties of council cutbacks up and down the country is the in-house technical expertise that were once found within many local authorities.

The result of this has been councils and housing authorities often tendering major projects to a number of contractors requesting them to quote based on a series of generic requirements. The potential pitfalls of this are obvious.

‘The lowest price, more often than not, is the successful one.’

This ‘Design & Build’ form of contract, whereby a client will provide a performance design and a set of employer’s requirements, can often be the subject of very varied interpretations. The process results in main contractors – who are not experts in specialist elements or fields – becoming reliant on sub-contractors providing the lowest quotes for the specialist works.

The reality is equally obvious. That the lowest price, more often than not, is the successful one. The contractor with the lowest bid will have achieved this by selecting the cheapest specialist subcontractor, who chooses the lowest cost of materials and even the lowest labour rates in their calculations.

An emergency light fitting is more expensive than a non-emergency equivalent. But that doesn’t mean sub-contractors should look away from this option simply because of cost. There are safety measures to take into consideration.

‘Good enough’ is simply no longer good enough.

All communal lights claim to provide a compliant system, but the latest round of post-Grenfell fire risk assessments has now proven this to be false. Cheap luminaires also do not perform well or efficiently, especially now so many are switching to LED’s. But a subcontractor who can buy a cheap light fitting is not interested in the whole life problems and costs to the end client.

Clients must now address this deteriorating situation by taking back control of quality so that they are able to be certain that their ‘requirements’ are not left to the interpretation of those whose motivation may not be fully aligned.

In Commulite’s world of providing safe and efficient communal and emergency lighting, the variations in the type and quality of systems is a minefield. When the selection of equipment is wrong, the consequences can be disastrous.

Can you afford to take risks when choosing communal and emergency lighting?

Those responsible for the procurement of housing contracts should never forget that ‘good enough’ is simply no longer good enough.


To find out more about our unique lighting systems, call us now on now on 01277 600300 or email us.

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