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1) Per the 2011 edition of the National Electrical Code, it is not specified within the articles of Emergency Systems (article 700) or Legally Required Standby Systems (article 701) as to where these systems are required within the types of building occupancies.
2) Your local Authority Having Jurisdiction/AHJ, ie, (local electrical inspector) and/or the local Fire Department or local building codes will have the jurisdiction as to whether or not Emergency Lighting is required at the point of egress within a dormitory environment. You will need to check with the aforementioned AHJ.
More than likely, the AHJ will want either a battery backup lighted exit sign with a combo battery backup Emergency Lighting or these can be 2 separate systems, ie, separate battery backup exit sign and separate battery backup emergency lighting at each point of egress within the dorm. This would include hallway exit areas (stairways) and exit doors to the exterior. These requirements are most common with AHJ's across the United States.
3) If required by the local AHJ, the battery backup must be able to provide emergency power for a minimum of a 90 minute time period during the loss of commercial power. Emergency Lighting systems typically use a 6 volt DC battery with 4.5 amp hours of backup.
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More info on Lights. I have batt back up lights at all doors that exit outside on the outside wall like a porch light. I want to replace them but unsure if i have to have batt back-up on the outside as i said this is a dorm building holds 150 men. I am not sure because everything built was over kill with the lights.thanks bruce
1) Hello Bruce....... normally the emergency lights are located on the inside of the building near the exit doors and not on the outside. The emergency lights are typically mounted on the ceiling right before you exit the door to the exterior.
2) In most municipalities, it is up to the local Fire Department code as to what they require. As I mentioned, the emergency back-up lights are most common on the inside and not on the outside. I would recommend that you have the Fire Department review your existing lights and they can comment or make any other recommendations that may be required.