The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) establishes safety and health guidelines for commercial and residential R1 buildings, part of which deals with the placement of an OSHA safety sign in the proper settings, such as near high voltage electrical equipment. Some OSHA signs are mandatory, while the placement of others is at the liberty of building owners. But regardless of OSHA guidelines, there are three safety signs that every building should contain: luminescent fire equipment signs, luminescent running man signs, and luminescent floor identification signs.
Not Just Any OSHA Safety Sign Will Do: Three Signs that Every Building Needs
1. Fire Equipment Signs
Fire equipment signs indicate fire extinguishers and fire hose and standpipe units. Commonly found in buildings across the U.S., some fire equipment signs are more effective than others, especially concerning their size. In anticipation of low visibility, fire equipment signs should be purchased in 12”x10” size or larger. While the primary goal in the event of fire is to evacuate, fire equipment can play a crucial role in evacuations, particularly for extinguishing flames that block egress paths.
2. Running Man Signs
Also referred to as emergency exit symbols, running man signs are critical for directing egress traffic through vertical exit enclosures during low visibility. According to the International Fire Code (IFC), which regulates egress safety in new construction and existing buildings that feature occupancy at above 75 feet from the lowest level of fire department vehicle access, a running man sign should placed on all exit leading doors within a vertical exit enclosure.
3. Floor Identification Signs
Floor identification signs are placed at every floor landing within vertical exit enclosures to post the following information, which helps evacuees stay apprised of their location: the identification of the stair or ramp, the floor level, the terminus of the top and bottom of the exit enclosure, and the story of and direction toward the exit.