April 17, 2009, Newsletter Issue #162: Emergency Exit Lighting at Home

Tip of the Week

Theaters, hospitals and offices are among the buildings required by law to have emergency exit lighting to help people get out in case of a power failure. Though such lighting is not a requirement for homes, a moderately handy homeowner can install such a system.

Emergency exit lighting is hooked into the building's power system. When it detects a loss of power, it triggers a relay that turns on the floodlights, powered by batteries.

It's a good idea to install two lights on every emergency exit. That way, if one bulb fails, the other will still do its job.

It may seem to make sense to put the emergency exit lights just over the front door. However, this can blind people who are trying to flee the house. A better solution is to put them close to eye level, on one side of the door.

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