CEC and Title 20 – New Regulations for Emergency Lighting

Newer Lighting Regulations have come to California under Title 20.  What is Title 20?  Who Created it? Keep reading to find the answer.

 

What is the CEC? The CEC (California Energy Commission) is the state of California’s primary energy policy and planning agency. It is focused on reducing energy costs and the environmental impacts of energy use—such as greenhouse gas emissions— while ensuring a safe, resilient, and reliable supply of energy. While the CEC has regulatory authority for most products sold or offered for sale in the state of California, its policies impact products produced for other regions as well.

 

What is Title 20? Title 20 is a part of the CEC’s Appliance Efficiency Regulations, from the California Code of Regulations.  The California Energy Commission adopted new standards updating the 2015 Appliance Efficiency Regulations (Title 20) for lighting appliances. The first updates to this set of Regulations was released in January 2018 and Tier 2 will be effective July 1, 2019.

 

Notably, this update adds standards for small-diameter directional lamps. The updated regulations incorporate elements of lighting product quality for both general service LED lamps and small-diameter directional lamps in addition to the traditional lighting appliance efficiency standards previously included in the regulations.

 

The addition of these new standards will require revisions to the California Appliance Efficiency Database product certification process, as well as updates to product labeling requirements for lamp marking, marketing material, and product packaging.

 

The lighting products currently in Title 20 that affect Emergency Light products for sale at www.exitlightco.com include:

 

 

Our products will contain a label in the “Features” section specifying if the product is CEC compliant.

 

Major changes include:

 

Updates to Lamp Regulations & Categories:
General service LED lamps are now regulated as a separate category from other light sources in the general service lamp category. New requirements include specific performance metrics and corresponding test methods to quantify product performance in an industry-recognized manner. Small diameter directional lamps with a diameter of 2.25 inches or less that are equipped with ANSI compliant base-types or the E26 base type are now regulated. New requirements apply to both low- and line-voltage lamps. Portable luminaires that are equipped with a socket requiring a general service lamp must be packaged with a compact fluorescent lamp or LED lamp that adheres to the updated lamp requirements.

 

California Appliance Efficiency Database:
The appliance database filing structure that manufacturers use to submit products for listing with the California Energy Commission will include new product categories and performance metrics starting January 1, 2018.

 

Product Labeling:
Manufacturers must test and certify their products with the updated regulations before including claims of dimmability, incandescent lamp equivalency, wattage equivalence, decorative lamp lumen output, or compliance with the Voluntary California Quality LED Lamp Specification in their lamp marking, marketing material, and package labeling.

 

About Certification Marks

You see them on every piece of electronics you buy — whether for personal use, business, or work. But what does that stamped UL, ETL, or CSA indicate? These are Certification Marks, and they provide assurance that you can rely on a standard of safety and performance from the products. All products sold in the United States must pass through a battery of tests performed by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) to prove that the product meets or exceeds national safety standards. Products that pass this inspection and testing process carry the Certification Mark for the laboratory that provided the testing (UL for Underwriter’s Laboratories, ETL for Intertek Testing Services, and CSA for Canadian Standards Association). It doesn’t matter which mark the product carries, as long as it is from one of the organizations that are recognized by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).

 

You can be assured that all products which carry an OSHA recognized NRTL mark will comply with the various safety codes (buidling codes, electrical safety codes, municipal codes and fire codes), has been thoroughly tested by third party laboratories to strict specifications, and complies with all current standards.

 

All emergency lighting and exit signs sold by The Exit Light Company carry Certification Marks. Please see our FAQs to learn more about Certification Marks and NRTLs.

Tragic “Ghost Ship” Oakland Warehouse Fire Shows Need for Stronger Life Safety Code Violation Enforcement

Another tragic fire at a large public gathering reminds us that life/fire safety issues can not be mitigated by laws alone. A horrific fire at the Oakland warehouse known as the “Ghost Ship” has led to the deaths of at least 36 people. The warehouse was used as a residence and art studio for many of the victims as well as a party venue. The building was zoned and coded ONLY for commercial use. In fact, there was a history of code violations. There are laws regarding zoning and life safety that were knowingly violated by the tenants at the Oakland warehouse. Life safety rules are designed to keep the public safe. Rules like keeping egress paths cleared, illuminated, and marked are basic life safety codes in modern society. Strict enforcement at the “Ghost Ship” may have led to fewer deaths or even prevented the tragedy. Complaints were lodged about the warehouse, but the wheels of bureaucracy turned slowly. Now, the District Attorney’s Office has launched a criminal investigation into the incident.

 

Our blog posting of February 4, 2013 “Surviving a Nightclub Fire” offers some advice about how to 1) avoid or 2) increase chances of surviving such an event. It also offers guidance for building owners/managers.

Historical Influences on Emergency Requirements

Tragedies such as the Bangladesh Clothing Factory Fire earlier this week highlight the need for emergency preparedness, including proper exit signage and emergency egress lighting. Unfortunately, a number of similar tragedies have shaped the laws and requirements throughout the United States:

 

 
  • On February 2, 1860 the six-story Elm Street Tenement in New York City caught fire killing 20. This fire along with a similar earlier fire led to a state law, the first in the nation, requiring fire escapes on all buildings over 6 stories, and multiple exits in new buildings.
  • On January 13, 1908, fire during a stage play at the Rhoads Opera House in Boyertown, Pennsylvania killed 171, one-tenth of the town’s population. As a result of the disaster, Pennsylvania’s first fire law was enacted in 1909.
  • On March 29, 1953, the Littlefield’s Nursing Home Fire in Largo, Florida claimed 33 lives. The fire shocked the community and led to statewide nursing home reforms.
 

Read about other historical events that shaped fire code requirements in your own state (as well as current code requirements) using our Fire Code Map.