Building compliance is not just about the structural stability and overall safety of a building. It also involves safety prevention and evacuation communication in the event of a crisis. Time is limited when a building falls to a major fire or damaging weather. Occupants need to get out quickly with minimal chance of injury. In an ideal situation, the emergency would begin but leave enough time for safe exit without panic. However this result is highly unlikely. Instead it happens quickly, conditions within the building change, and each occupant’s frame of mind changes. Common sense goes out the window as well as memory and thought processes. So much is going on that each individual cannot focus and often does not know off hand what to do. Egress markings are included in building codes to ensure proper communication of exit points to inhabitants of the structure. They help direct each individual through building obstacles to the nearest exit point. It is amazing how such a small portion of building safety can prevent injuries and save lives. These compliance guidelines have done just that and been the difference between trapped occupants and a safe crowd waiting for emergency response.
Minimal Cost for Utmost Safety
Complying with safety codes set forth by the International Code Council (ICC) does not have to be a budget draining process. In fact, the costs that come after non-compliance are frequently higher due legal and compliance matters. Photo-luminescent materials are becoming a common product for egress path marking. They have many benefits over the common lighted signs and standard marking methods. Lighted identifiers require electricity. Regular maintenance must be performed to keep them functioning appropriately. In situations where the electricity goes out, these signs must rely on a backup generator that could fail. Occupants could be left in completely dark hallways with very little resources for a safe evacuation. Luminescent IFC compliant exit signs do not need electricity to provide a safe route. They do not have to be maintained and work in any internal building condition. During fires that completely fill the structure with smoke, these markings can still be seen. Compliance standards only set a minimum requirement for building safety. These new materials are not part of the guidelines. However, many companies are finding that they are just as cost effective. They also have the additional benefit of a more reliable evacuation route.
Utilizing these newer signage methods does not cost more than the traditional practices. Even at a fractionally higher price, they still average out to be about the same. This is because maintenance and electricity add to the cost of IFC compliant exit signs operation. Saving lives and protecting the well being of building occupants is the purpose of these regulations. That is why they are so heavily enforced throughout the United States. Every precaution and step reduces the amount of individuals harmed during an emergency situation. Each year these regulations are altered to improve building and fire safety. Doing more than the bare minimum does not cost high amounts of money and can prevent the devastation of lives within your building.