You may have heard the term before, but what exactly are luminous egress path markings?
In the event the electricity goes out during an emergency, luminous egress path markings act as the only source of light within a building’s emergency exit pathway.
These luminous markings are required in buildings of Groups A, B, E, I, M and R-1 having occupied floors located more than 75 feet (22,860 mm) above the lowest level of fire department vehicle access. The two exceptions to these requirements, found in Section 1024 of the International Building Code, are luminous egress path markings shall not be required on the level of exit discharge in lobbies that serve as part of the exit path in accordance with Section 1027.1, Exception 1, and luminous egress path markings shall not be required in areas of open parking garages that serve as part of the exit path in accordance with Section 1027.1, Exception 3.
Chapter 10 of the International Building Code covers all Means of Egress in buildings, and section 1024 covers every requirement of exit pathways in a building system. According to Section 1024.1, “An exit passageway shall not be used for any purpose other than as a means of egress and a circulation path.” Exit pathways are one of the most important components of a building, as it provides occupants a safe path out of the building in the case of an emergency – potentially saving lives in dire situations.
A complication of emergency exit pathways that often goes overlooked is power failure. With no electricity, enclosed stairwells are left shrouded in darkness. This creates a hazard for occupants because they are expected to exit the building safely while stepping down numerous flights of stairs without being able to see the next step, resulting in trips and other hazards, making an emergency situation even more dangerous. Section 1024 of the International Building Code has created requirements for buildings to follow in order to effectively prevent these hazards.
According to Section 1025 of the International Building Code, “Egress path markings shall be provided in interior exit stairways, interior exit ramps and exit passageways.” The installation of photoluminescent egress path markings, like stair nosings, installed on the stairs themselves, is the most important part of the emergency exit stairwell, as providing step-edge visibility is crucial.
This prevents any trips and falls that occupants may experience when exiting the building in the event of a power outage. According to Section 1025 of the International Building Code, a Luminous Egress Path Marking is applied to the horizontal leading edge of each step and shall extend for the full length of the step, which allows the occupants to see the entire step if the power is out. Stair landings are also required to have Luminous Egress Path Markings, which also helps occupants in the case of an emergency to safely see the area between the end and beginning of each new level of stairs.
Handrails and handrail extensions are also required to have markings so that occupants have a guide to safely hold onto while exiting a building through the emergency exit stairwell. The luminous stripe will run the entire length of each handrail and is required to not have a gap of more than 4 inches. Therefore, there is no confusion for occupants where the handrails may end or bend.
Section 1025 also states that stair landings and other floor areas within interior exit stairways, interior exit ramps and exit passageways must have perimeter demarcation luminous egress path markings. These luminous egress markings lead the occupants safely to the emergency exit by creating a visible pathway for occupants to follow. Obstacles in any emergency exit stairwell are also required by the International Building Code to be marked, so that they can be seen and avoided in the case of an emergency. Obstacles may include standpipes, hose cabinets, wall projections and restricted height areas. Obstacles must be marked with a special luminous path marking which has alternating black and photoluminescent strips so that patrons can differentiate obstacles from the other photoluminescent path markings.
Each building also contains at least one final egress door within the exit path. This is the door that the occupants will safely be led to and out of in order to exit the building in the event of an emergency. This is the finish line of the emergency exit pathway and should be distinctly marked for occupants to easily identify its purpose. Each final exit door must contain an emergency exit symbol, as well as door hardware and door frame markings to clearly lead the occupants safely out of the building.
The best part about all of Ecoglo’s products is that they are self-luminous and do not require an electrical charge to maintain their required luminance. Ecoglo’s products are quickly recharged by any surrounding light source and require absolutely no electricity to function. There are so many great qualities about Photoluminescent Egress Path Markings, but the most important is that their main purpose is to safely lead people through a building’s egress pathway in the event of an emergency.
Ecoglo is the number one supplier for egress path solutions in the United States.
Our photoluminescent egress path markings easily exceed International Building Code Requirements. What makes Ecoglo Photoluminescent Egress Path Markings different is our unique, patented process which embeds photoluminescent particles into a clear durable polymer, maximizing their self-luminous properties. This process produces a product that is fast charging, while also boasting long-lasting photoluminescent performance, and is both UV stable and highly durable. Luminous egress path markings are installed in areas of high traffic, including handrails and stairs.
If the product is not high quality, then these photoluminescent path markings will begin to wear and tear. Thankfully, Ecoglo’s photoluminescent path markings are of the highest quality because our photoluminescent particles are baked and embedded into a clear and durable polymer, guaranteeing very little wear and tear no matter the amount of usage our path markings endure.
Ecoglo is committed to creating durable Photoluminescent Egress Path Markings that will last for years to come.