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Mechanical and electrical installations

Safety at sports grounds relies on a number of electrical and mechanical installations.

All sports grounds have in place a number of permanent or temporary mechanical and electrical installations, many of which are safety-related or have their own safety implications.

All mechanical and electrical installations at a sports ground are liable to gradual deterioration, particularly those situated in outdoor or exposed environments.

So management must ensure that such installations are properly maintained by competent persons with the appropriate qualifications, skills and experience.

It is imperative, furthermore, that maintenance procedures for both new and existing installations are properly understood. Accordingly, management should prepare a detailed planned preventative maintenance schedule covering the testing, inspection, commissioning and servicing of all such installations in accordance with:

  • the instructions and schedules provided by the manufacturer or trade body
  • the operator’s manual provided by the installer
  • where appropriate, the relevant British Standards
  • the maintenance schedules set out within the management’s Operations Manual, as required by a risk based safety certificate, or, where a prescriptive safety certificate is in force, the requirements of the local authority.

Unless otherwise specified by the manufacturers’ written instructions or any other relevant documentation, all mechanical and electrical installations should be inspected and tested at least annually by competent qualified persons, and an inspection certificate supplied to ground management.

Chapter 17 of the Green Guide provides detailed information about mechanical and electrical installations.

This includes:

  • Lighting
  • Lifts and escalators
  • Boilers and heating devices
  • Ventilation
  • Water systems

Electrical installations

All electrical installations should comply with BS 7671: Requirements for Electrical Installations, IET Wiring Regulations and other relevant regulations.

All temporary electrical installations, including those installed as part of an overlay, a temporary or demountable structure, or at a temporary sports ground, should comply with BS 7909: Code of practice for temporary electrical systems for entertainment and related purposes.

For each installation, permanent or temporary, an Electrical Installation Completion Certificate, as prescribed by the IET Wiring Regulations, should be obtained, and retained by the management, accompanied where applicable by a current Periodic Inspection Report. A separate Completion Certificate will also be required for any new part added to an electrical installation.

Further guidance is available from The Institution of Engineering and Technology.


At all times when the natural light in any section of a ground that is accessible to spectators and/or other people is insufficient, or if the ground is to be used in non-daylight hours, adequate artificial lighting should be provided.

This should be sufficient to enable all spectators to circulate around the ground in safety, particularly at entry and exit points and on stairways. It should also be sufficient to illuminate all signs.

For the visual comfort of spectators, including those who are blind or partially sighted the lighting level in spectator areas during non-daylight hours should be at least 20 lux.

Emergency lighting

Emergency lighting at a sports ground is provided first and foremost to ensure that, in the event of a power failure, emergency egress, if necessary, can take place safely.

At sports grounds used to stage events in non-daylight hours, emergency lighting for use in the event of a failure of the general lighting should be provided in all parts of the ground to which spectators and staff have access, including along all exit and emergency egress routes, with exit signs clearly illuminated.

The emergency lighting system should operate automatically on the failure of the normal lighting system, and should be entirely separate and independent of the normal lighting system, to ensure that a fault affecting one system does not affect the other.

Auxiliary power

Management should prepare contingency plans to cover the possibility of a power failure. This should include provision for the supply of auxiliary power, first and foremost to meet the safety needs of all those present at the ground, rather than to provide the power needed to continue the event.

The Green Guide 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.

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