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.
Educate yourself on Luminous Egress Path Marking and Egress Signage Requirements.
To start things off on the right foot, make sure you understand the building and fire code regulations pertaining to luminous egress and photoluminescent signage. This luminous egress code compliance guide can help guide you through the latest International Building and Fire Code regulations.
States adopt the International Building Code and International Fire Code on their own accord, so it is important to know which codes your state adheres to. For example, California has implemented the 2018 International Building Code as part of their California Building Code 2019, while the state of Florida implemented the 2015 International Building Code as part of the Florida Building Code 2017.
A list of all compliance guides can be foundInternational Fire Code.
Do Take into Consideration the Foot Traffic your Stairwells Endure
There are a wide variety of luminous egress path marking products and photoluminescent strips available, depending on the needs of your building.
If you know the stairwells in your facility undergo a lot of heavy foot traffic, then it is best to choose the most durable options for your luminous egress path markings. You may consider installing anti-slip aluminum stair nosings as part of your luminous egress path for heavily used stairways.
Although the most upstanding options may have a higher upfront cost, it is always better than having to replace the entire system if the least durable option is installed and endures high levels of unforeseen wear and tear.
Do Choose and Exit Sign Style Based on your Building’s Usage
Just like all luminous egress path markings are available in a variety of styles and colors, you are sure to find the same variety in photoluminescent exit signs. The array of emergency photoluminescent exit signs available ensure your building’s emergency egress path is illuminated-even when the building’s power system as failed.
Standard photoluminescent exit signs require absolutely no batteries, electricity, or external power and quickly charge from exposure to external light and will glow brightly for hours in the event of a power failure.
Hybrid photoluminescent exit signs are ideal for areas that only receive limited light exposure. The integrated LED system provides an auxiliary charge to ensure the glow in the dark sign shines brightly in the event of a power outage if the photoluminescent technology has not received enough light exposure.
Don’t Just Choose the Cheapest Option
Although cost and budget is a major factor in any construction project, it is always best to think long-term and chose quality over quantity. For example, photoluminescent tape is cost-effective but does require more maintenance or replacement compared to photoluminescent strips or more durable products. A rigid vinyl photoluminescent exit sign or aluminum based luminous stair nosings, although costlier upfront, are durable options that will not require replacement for years to come.
Don’t Ignore Compliance Requirements
The 2018 International Building Code (IBC) and International Fire Code (IFC) are essential tools that preserve public health and safety. The main goal of luminous egress path markings and egress signage is to illuminate steps, landings, handrails and any other obstacles in emergency conditions. When a building does not follow these requirements, they are putting the safety of their tenants, customers, employees, and all other occupants at risk. When choosing photoluminescent products for your facility’s egress path, ensure they meet code compliance in your area.
Don’t Become Overwhelmed with Luminous Egress Path Markings
At first when learning about all the requirements for an emergency exit stairwell and other egress signage, all of the information can be overwhelming and it may be confusing to understand all of the products needed and where to place them in order to comply with your state’s adopted codes. Fortunately, our Ecoglo® team are experts on this topic and are here to help. We even have local representatives that will visit your job site and preform an audit to let you know exactly what products are needed to meet compliance. We also offer an AIA Continuing Education course which outlines Applied Use in Code Compliance and Enhanced Safety found here.
Fairly new to some building code requirements, luminous egress path markings and photoluminescent products can seem like an overwhelming or daunting subject. Following this guide will help you make sense of it all, and create a visibly better egress path in your facility!
The wide range of photoluminescent and luminous egress path marking products offered by Ecoglo® ensures you have every option available to create the luminous egress path that is perfect for your building. Our expert sales force is available to help you hand pick every product and inform you about local building codes.