Created by the ICC (International Code Council), the IFC (International Fire Code) regulates the egress safety of commercial and residential R1 buildings that feature occupancy above 75 feet from the lowest level of fire vehicle access. Currently, a version of the IFC has been adopted by at least 42 states, with the remaining states expected to adopt a version soon. Regardless of a state’s IFC status, one thing remains certain: IFC approved markings for steps and landings increase the safety of any vertical exit enclosure that contains them, especially in combination with IFC approved emergency exit symbols (running man signs), floor identification signs, and building exit signs for commercial buildings.
What Distinguishes One Type of Egress Stripes from Another?
The IFC has two requirements for the design of egress markings (egress stripes): they must be luminescent (i.e. photoluminescent), and they must be between 1-2 inches wide. Otherwise, IFC guidelines for the stripes deal with their application to the following egress elements within exit enclosures: handrails and handrail extensions, the leading edges of steps and landings, the perimeter of landing areas, potential egress path obstacles, and the doorframes and hardware of exit leading doors. Because the markings usually come in the form of high strength photoluminescent tape, applying them is easy.
IFC Guidelines for Applying Egress Markings to Steps and Landings
The IFC has guidelines for applying luminescent egress stripes to handrail and handrail extensions, the leading edges of steps and landings, the perimeter of landing areas, potential egress path obstacles, and the doorframes and hardware of exit leading doors. Below, we present the guidelines for applying the stripes to steps and landings.
A solid and continuous line should be applied to the leading edge of each step, extending the step’s full length. The leading edge of the line should be placed no more than ½ inch from the leading edge of the step and should not overlap the step’s leading edge by more than ½ inch.
A solid and continuous line should be applied to the leading edge of each landing, extending the edge’s full length. The leading edge of the line should be placed no more than ½ inch from the leading edge of the landing and should not overlap the landing’s leading edge by more than ½ inch.
Luminescent Markings Combined with Luminescent Signage
IFC egress markings achieve their greatest affect when combined with IFC safety signage, a combination that fully reveals an enclosure’s dimensions in the darkness and provides crucial information about what direction to travel in and what doors to access to reach an exit. For more information on IFC compliant striping and safety signage, contact an online seller of photoluminescent egress products is the best option.