Circuit Breaker Lockout for Exit Signs?

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by Homeownerinburb, May 14, 2012.

  1. Homeownerinburb

    Homeownerinburb New Member

    Messages:
    525
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA USA
    OK, yes I will ask the fireman that wrote this up when I can get ahold of him, but I wanted to ask you:

    The Fire Marshal just inspected a fairly sizable Mall near me, and as fate would have it, I know one of the merchants who got tagged. Apparently almost everyone got the same to-do list.

    Get the exit signs tested by an electrical contractor. OK. Get him to certify what you have works or get it replaced. OK. Figure out which breaker in the panel feeds it. Well, OK. If you insist. Mark it as such. Well, sure, while we are at it, yeah.

    Now. Provide a "lock out". I don't get it. My thinking on lock outs is their utility in a large industrial plant where there is frequent need to shut down power to something that is well out of view of the panel.

    Why would anyone need to "lock out" an emergency exit sign? Why would you ever need to deliberately turn it off. Unless you were replacing it, but the the logic applies to all the circuits in the store, yes?
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,316
    Location:
    New England
    He doesn't want it accidentially turned off, i.e. a deliberate action must be required. It's possible that in doing some maintenance, the operator might just turn multiple things off just when they are needed the most.
  3. Homeownerinburb

    Homeownerinburb New Member

    Messages:
    525
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA USA

    OK, I need to find lock-outs that can lock the toggle in the on position. Obviously the breaker can still trip even if the toggle is locked.

    Hmmmm. I wonder how universal lockouts are? I've not needed to install any before. Most of the panels are three phase......
  4. Jim Port

    Jim Port Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    156
    Location:
    Maryland
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,251
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Besides the "universal" breaker lock out, each manufacturer has those specific to their breakers. Exit signs, emergency lights, and "local fire systems" all need lockouts to prevent them from being disabled by flipping the breakers. They do not "deliberately" get turned off, but if someone is looking for a particular circuit, they WILL turn off every breaker and may forget to turn the safety ones back on. The lock out prevents them from turning it off, unless it is the one they are working on, in which case they remove it and hopefully replace it when they are done.
    Last edited: May 15, 2012
  6. Homeownerinburb

    Homeownerinburb New Member

    Messages:
    525
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA USA
    Sounds straightforward.
  7. marygrace

    marygrace New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Philippines
    what is the purpose of having this circuit breaker lockout? Thanks a lot for all the help then and I love it.
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,251
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    So an "emergency" circuit which MUST always be on, cannot be inadvertently turned off, and maybe not turned back on.
Similar Threads: Circuit Breaker
Forum Title Date
Electrical Forum discussion & Blog AFCI breaker (in Wisconsin) needed for dedicated light circuit? Jul 30, 2014
Electrical Forum discussion & Blog Two pole arc fault breakers for multi wire circuits Jan 6, 2014
Electrical Forum discussion & Blog Sparks while changing outlet with circuit breaker off Dec 26, 2013
Electrical Forum discussion & Blog Circuit Breaker trips same time every day Aug 25, 2013
Electrical Forum discussion & Blog Are insurers nervous about screw-in circuit breakers in old fuse panels? Aug 13, 2012

Share This Page