How to apply egress path markings

Regulations for steps, landings & handrails

To provide building occupants with superior visibility of an exit enclosure’s physical dimensions, the IBC and IFC require the application of luminous egress path markings to steps, landings and handrails. When applied according to IBC and IFC guidelines, the markings dramatically improve the two most important aspects of an evacuation: timeliness and physical safety. Applying luminous stripes to steps, landings and handrails according to the following sections of the IBC and IFC will help to ensure that your evacuation measures go as planned:

1024.2.1 Steps

A solid and continuous stripe should be mounted on the horizontal leading edge of each step and extend the full length of the step. The stripe should be at least 1 inch wide and no more than 2 inches wide. The leading edge of the stripe should be placed no more than ½ inch from the leading edge of step and should not overlap the leading edge of the step by more than ½ inch down the vertical face of the step.

1024.2.2 Landings

The leading edge of landings should be marked with a stripe that is at least 1 inch wide and no more than 2 inches wide.

1024.2.3 Handrails

The top surface of handrails should be marked with a solid and continuous stripe that is at least 1 inch wide and extends the entire length of the handrail, including handrail extensions and newel post caps. Where handrails and handrail extensions bend or turn corners, the stripe should have a gap of no more than 4 inches.

Applying egress path markings to steps, landings and handrails in accordance with the IBC and IFC is critical to evacuation safety, particularly for buildings that qualify as high rises. Due to high rises’ large volume of building occupants, high rise evacuations are particularly vulnerable to egress jams that can lead to trampling. If you own a high rise in a state that has not adopted a version of the IFC, remember that relying on back up lighting in the event of fire evacuations could stall egress flow and lead to fatalities.