The right lighting reduces the risk of accidents and helps everyone feel safer and more secure. Now that it’s fall, you and your members will be reaching for the light switch earlier than usual, so it’s a good time to think about how lighting at your Post impacts safety and security. Here’s what you should know:
As fall sets in, good indoor lighting can help make sure your Post feels warm and cozy. A well-lit Post interior has numerous benefits:
- Hazards are easier to see, which can reduce accidents.
- Theft and vandalism risks are reduced.
- Alertness and productivity can be improved.
- Eyestrain and headaches from squinting are minimalized.
There’s even some evidence that a well-lit Post is good for your neck. Research into ergonomics has found that poor lighting leads to hunched over people, straining to see what they’re doing. Better lighting means you can stand or sit up straight, which is better for your neck and back.
Emergency and Exit Lighting
A building’s emergency and exit lighting often goes unnoticed — until it’s needed. OSHA requires exit and emergency lighting systems be:
- Installed to provide adequate and reliable exit illumination.
- Maintained to ensure continuous operational capability.
Meanwhile, the National Fire Protection Association requires that the illumination and performance of emergency lighting systems be:
- Checked monthly for at least 30 seconds of operation.
- Tested yearly for a continuous operation of 1.5 hours.
Walkways and Parking
When it comes to lighting safety outside your Post, quality matters more than quantity. Too much of the wrong light results in light pollution, which can cause more problems than it solves, including:
- Blinding glare for pedestrians and cars.
- Light trespass for neighbors and roadways.
- Wildlife problems for insects and nocturnal animals.
- Energy inefficiencies from old bulbs and fixtures.
Instead, ensure your Post’s walkways and parking areas are well illuminated for safety and security during the evening hours by focusing on two key factors:
- Lighting uniformity
- Eliminating glare
Uniform lighting helps eliminate unwanted shadows, where people or objects may be hidden. Getting rid of shadows means your members will be able to see and avoid trip hazards, while also discouraging crime. Eliminating glare helps in similar ways. Pedestrians and drivers won’t be blinded by mis-aimed lights that could contribute to a fall or accident.
Best Practices for Your Post’s Lighting
- Replace burned out bulbs promptly.
- Consider adding task lighting in dim work areas.
- Freshen up walls with paint or a good scrubbing to brighten a whole room.
- Minimize risks from shadowy sidewalks and dim interiors with better lighting.
- Turn lights on earlier in fall and winter, to ensure members and guests can see.
- Remember to test emergency and exit lighting systems for safety.
- Add motion-activated lights or timers to deter theft and save on energy bills.
- If budget allows, consider upgrading exterior lighting fixtures and bulbs to minimize glare and excess light pollution.
The right lighting goes a long way towards making your members and guests feel safer and more comfortable. With just a flick of the switch this fall, your Post can help minimize eyestrain, trips and falls, as well as security issues.