21. Electrical Installation, Auxiliary Power and Emergency Lighting


21.1 The electrical installation at outdoor pop concerts and other musical events should be adequate for normal and emergency situations. Auxiliary power should be available and be sufficient to enable emergency lighting, the Public Address system, CCTV and other electrically powered safety installations to function for at least 3 hours after the failure of the normal supply.

Artificial Lighting

21.2 Where the natural lighting in any section of the venue accessible to the public or performers is deficient, adequate artificial lighting should be provided. If the ground is to be used after dark, all parts accessible to the public or performers should be provided with means for lighting adequate to enable them to see their way into, within and out of the venue safely. The lighting levels provided should be in accordance with the recommendations of the CIBSE 1 codes for internal and external spaces. Normal street lighting levels should be the minimum provided. These provisions are particularly important in relation to entry and exit routes and stairways used by the public. Emergency lighting should be provided as a back-up to the mains lighting.

21.3 Full details of the electrical installation including equipment details, mains and emergency lighting installation and lighting levels should be submitted as part of the Statement of Safety Procedures one month prior to the event (See Paragraph 5.14).

Electrical Installation

21.4 All electrical installations should comply with the edition of the National Rules for Electrical Installations of the Electro-Technical Council of Ireland 2 current at the date of installation, and all other E.T.C.l. publications where they apply. Attention should also be paid to the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations Part VIII. 3

21.5 A venue’s fixed electrical installation should be inspected prior to an event and a completion certificate as prescribed in the E.T.C.l.’s National Rules for Electrical Installation issued. A separate E.T.C.I. completion certificate should be issued for any temporary electrical installation carried out.

21.6 A diagram of the main distribution system should be mounted on a wall close to the main control point. Diagrams of the entire electrical installation (both fixed and temporary) indicating main switching, main fusing, local switching and fusing, cable sizes and runs, etc., should be submitted as part of the Statement of Safety Procedures one month prior to the event.

21.7 All control gear, cables and conductors should be sited to ensure that, as far as practicable, they are inaccessible to the public. Temporary wiring should be installed so that it does not cause an obstruction when crossing passageways. Cables and conductors of the fixed wiring should be enclosed throughout in a protective covering of material which has sufficient strength to resist mechanical damage.

21.8 The base of any floodlighting tower should be earthed in accordance with BS 6651 4 which also contains advice on bonding and earthing for lightning protection. Protection against lightning strikes in accordance with BS 6651 should be provided for all floodlighting towers, the stage, multi-level stands and other high structures.

21.9 A qualified electrician familiar with the operation of the equipment should be present at all major events.

Emergency Lighting

21.10 Emergency lighting for use in the event of a failure of the general lighting should be provided in all locations accessible to the public, staff or performers and along all exit routes, with exit signs clearly illuminated. A permanent installation should conform with
I.S. 3217: 1989. 5. The emergency lighting system should be completely separate from the normal lighting system and should be of the maintained type along all exit routes. Unless two entirely independent supplies can be obtained from outside sources, the emergency circuits should be connected to a source of power located on the premises, e.g., storage batteries or a diesel generator with suitable changeover facilities.

21.11 The system should be capable of maintaining the necessary level of illumination for a period of 3 hours from the time of failure of the normal supply.

21.12 The maintained emergency lighting system should operate automatically on the failure of the normal lighting.

21.13 The emergency lighting system at the venue should be fully tested immediately prior to an event.

21.14 These requirements relate to grounds where light levels and usage dictates that there is a need for such facilities but if night-time activities are proposed these requirements are essential.

21.15 A stand-by generator should be installed at all major events where night-time activities may occur, in order to minimise panic in the event of the mains electricity supply failing. It should provide power to lighting fittings to provide an increased level of illumination in the main public areas, exit stairways and passages in the event of mains supply failure.

It should also provide power to medical equipment rooms, fire detection systems, public address systems, CCTV and other lighting fittings which are part of the emergency lighting system.

The circuitry should be so arranged as to enable the stand and terrace lighting to be switched on manually in the event of any problem. While an event is in progress the generator should be running, thus being available for the immediate take up of the load if mains supply failure occurs.

21.16 If a power failure occurs consideration should be given to the cancellation of the event. If the auxiliary power supply is capable of supplying the entire load for the site for at least 3 hours it may be possible to continue a fixture or event provided it is scheduled to finish and the site is cleared within this period and no other emergency situation exists. To supply such a load a generator rather than a central battery system is likely to be required.

21.17 An additional back up emergency power supply will be necessary if an event is to continue. The Promoter should take into account the needs of the site in deciding the type of power provision and make contingency plans for the failure of the power supply.

21.18 Auxiliary power equipment should be located in a secure area to which the public does not have access and all generators should be installed in accordance with the E.T.C.l.’s requirements for generators – ET 104/1982 or ET 104A/1988, as applicable. The location should be such as to prevent the spread of fire. All equipment should be installed, maintained and tested in accordance with the manufacturers’ instructions and relevant Irish, British or other equivalent European standards, specifications and codes of practice.

Public Address System

21.19 Where the public address system is part of the fire warning system it should conform to I.S. 3218: Part 1. 6 (See Paragraph 19.4). Auxiliary power will, in such circumstances, be needed to ensure the continued use at the system in the event of fire or other emergency.


1. I.S. 3218: 1989, Code of Practice for Fire Detection and Alarm Systems for Buildings – System Design, Installation and Servicing, National Standards Authority of Ireland, Dublin.
2. National Rules for Electrical Installation, Electro-Technical Council of Ireland, Dublin, 1988.
3. Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 1993, Part VIII: Electricity, Stationery Office, Dublin.
4. BS 6651: 1992, Code of Practice for protection at structures against lightning, British Standards Institution, London.
5. I.S 3217: 1989 Code of Practice for Emergency Lighting, National Standards Authority of Ireland, Dublin.
6. I.S. 3218: 1989, Code of Practice for Fire Detection and Alarm Systems for Buildings – System Design, Installation and Servicing, National Standards Authority of Ireland, Dublin.