Emergency Lighting in Anesthetizing Locations

A question came up recently asking what the NFPA requirements are for installing battery-powered emergency lighting in anesthetizing locations. For purposes of clarification, NFPA 99 (1999 edition), section 2-2 defines anesthetizing location as:

“Any area of a facility that has been designated to be used for the administration of nonflammable inhalation anesthetic agents in the course of examination or treatment, including the use of such agents for relative analgesia.”

And relative analgesia is defined as:

“A state of sedation and partial block of pain perception produced in a patient by the inhalation of concentrations of nitrous oxide insufficient to produce loss of consciousness (conscious sedation).”

So, NFPA 99 (1999 edition) section 3- (a) (5) discusses electrical needs in anesthetizing locations. Basically, all it says is one or more battery-powered emergency lighting units must be installed in accordance with NFPA 70, article 700-12 (e), which describes the electrical requirements for a EM lighting fixture, such as:

  • A rechargeable battery
  • A battery charging means
  • Provisions for one or more lamps mounted on the equipment
  • A relay device to energize the EM lighting upon loss of normal power

Article 410 of NFPA 70 discusses lighting fixtures and locations in general. Basically, they address wet, damp, corrosive locations, and mounting fixtures in closets, ducts and hoods, showers and near combustible materials, but nothing on where they need to be mounted for anesthetizing locations. A further review of NFPA 99 does not reveal anything about location of EM lighting. NFPA 110 and NFPA 111 do not address EM lighting.

Section 7.9 of the 2000 edition of the LSC discusses EM lighting. They use the term ‘means of egress’ to describe where EM lighting needs to be located but it includes aisles in rooms. Ironically, this section does not require battery-powered emergency lighting for EM lighting needs and references NFPA 110 if EM lighting is powered by generators. Therefore, NFPA 99 would supersede the LSC and you would need to install battery-powered emergency lighting in anesthetizing locations, even if you had generator powered EM lighting.

But section 7.9.3 of the LSC does require 30 second testing of battery-powered emergency lighting fixtures at 30-day intervals, and 90 minute tests annually. However, in lieu of the regular monthly 30-second tests, the exception to 7.9.3 does allow self-diagnostic battery powered emergency lighting equipment which automatically performs a test for not less than 30 seconds not less than every 30 days and indicates failures by a status indicator is exempt from the 30-day functional test, provided a visual inspection is performed at 30-day intervals.