FAQs - Auxiliary Power Supplies at a Sports Grounds

"Should the auxiliary power supply at a sports ground be capable of supplying the entire load for a minimum of three hours or is it sufficient to provide an auxiliary power supply to just the safety related installations?"

Section 16.25 of the Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds makes it clear that auxiliary power should be provided which is sufficient at the very least to enable emergency lighting, the public address system, CCTV and all other safety –related installations to function for a minimum of three hours after the failure of the normal supply. 

However, if ground management wish to continue an event following the loss of the primary power supply it will need to ensure that the auxiliary power supply is capable of supplying the entire load for the ground for a minimum of three hours, or, where the event will run for more than three hours, to supply the entire load until the end of the event plus such additional time as it may take for all spectators to leave the ground following the end of the event. 

Therefore where the intention is to continue with an event following the loss of the primary power source ground management should ensure that in addition to supplying the safety-related installations the auxiliary power will also need to maintain a safe level of lighting within areas used by spectators during the event, such as concourses and toilets, in addition to any lighting that may be required to illuminate the playing/activity area.

Where it is intended to continue the event on the auxiliary power supply that system should also be provided with additional back-up power for the safety related installations.

Sources of further guidance

Safety of Sports grounds No. 4 - Guide to Electrical and Mechanical Services in Sports Grounds published by the London District Surveyors Association www.londonbuildingcontrol.org.uk
includes advice on auxiliary power supplies and lighting.

Code for interior lighting published by the Chartered Institute of Building Service Engineers (CIBSE) contains minimum lighting levels for all internal areas and rooms.

SSL Lighting Guide LG04 Sport published by CIBSE provides advice on lighting levels for specific sports and also contains guidance on ancillary areas.

SLL Lighting Guide LG06 the outdoor environment published by CIBSE provides advice on external areas, floodlighting and security lighting.