Imagine the power in your office building goes out and you hear a fire alarm. All you know is that you must leave the building as soon as possible. Luckily your office space is located next to a window, so you can easily find your way to the elevator. You see your colleagues frantically pressing the down button to no avail before deciding to head to the emergency staircase.
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.
The level of safety added to your building because of anti-slip stair nosing is two-fold. Firstly they improve step edge visibility. The color of the anti-slip grip contrasts the substrate of the stair tread which clearly defines the step-edge. Many anti-slip stair nosing come with a photoluminescent strip, which further aids in step-edge visibility, especially in low light conditions.
After the 2001 World Trade Center Tower attacks, survivors noted the luminous egress path marking systems installed in the building were one of the keys to exiting in the building and getting to safety.
A few years later the use of luminous egress signage and path marking products become required by the International Building Code, as well as the International Fire Code. The National Fire Protection Association also adopted the use of photo luminescent guidance and pathway marking products. Consequently, many states and local building codes have adopted this measures to require the use of luminous egress path markings.
The use of photoluminescent egress signage and path marking products has proven to be a safer choice for a variety of reasons. These path marking products operate completely independently from a building’s electrical system, providing a bright, easy to follow path long after the building has lost power. Photoluminescent light takes the guess work out of egress in all conditions, as it does not cast shadows and can easily cut through smoke. Lastly, these products require very little to no maintenance to perform their best.
Seemingly simple, or maybe even an afterthought, is the installation of stair nosings in your facility really a necessity?
Within high-rise buildings, stairways act as one of the facility’s biggest safety features, allowing occupants to exit safely in any condition. Stairway safety is key in emergency egress and there are several ways stair nosings work to increase safety in all stairways.
You may have noticed in the latest editions of your local or state building codes the requirement for luminous egress path markings in new and existing high-rise commercial buildings. The requirement comes from the adoption of the International Building Code [see IFC 1104.25, 1025]. The term luminous egress path marking may seem unfamiliar, but it is likely you have seen them installed in a number of facilities or even already know them by a different name!
Simply put, a luminous egress path marking product, such as directional signage, step-edge markings or perimeter markings clearly mark the path of egress within any facility. What sets luminous egress path markings apart from traditional exit signage is the fact that they do not require any electricity, wiring, circuits or batteries to shine the way in the dark.
When you first begin to educate yourself on emergency exit stairwells and building compliance, it may seem like having to learn an entire new language. Egress signage, luminous egress path markings, and photoluminescent strips could all be new terms to you, and can feel overwhelming. Providing a safe mean of egress in your facility is essential, and luminous egress path markings play an important role in doing do! Read on below to learn the do’s and don’ts of installing luminous egress path markings in your facility.