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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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