Exit Signs for Buildings: Weighing the Cost of Compliance against Non-Compliance

Disaster preparation is something every business and building owner should take seriously. The lives and well being of occupants are at stake and depend on the set plan of each building. This preparation encompasses much more than a well practiced evacuation route and strategy. Occupants can know the process, go through it regularly, and still have trouble getting out of the building when they need to the most. Commercial buildings have the additional complication of unfamiliarity. Regular inhabits of the building such as personnel know the plan, but any visitors will not be as informed. They do not have complete knowledge of the building layout or what should be done. Exit signs for buildings and other components must accompany the disaster plan to be certain occupants can properly exit the building and reach safety. Organizations need to keep these emergency evacuation tools as a top priority to ensure that injuries are minimal and code violations do not occur.

Research is vital for determining if a building meets code and is ready for a disaster. Every building is different. Safety requirements frequently change. First, evaluate the property and building. This can be done without help or with the assistance of a building code inspection. Floor plans need to be current. Locate all fire safety components and have a complete diagram for referencing. Also evaluate emergency stations, security systems, and backup power sources. Generators should be regularly maintained. This makes safety issues caused by blown or non-functioning generators less likely. Communications devices should be set up to run on this emergency power. Exit stairs, hallways, and exit routes need emergency backup lighting and appropriate signs. Markings should lead occupants to a safe location outside of the building.

Compliance Reduces Costs Associated With Disaster Injuries

Building codes require exit signs for buildings and additional markings that help occupants find the nearest exit within the structure. Learning about these codes and implementing them guarantees more safety for occupants and prevents the consequences that typically follow when compliance standards are not met. National, state, and city codes may all apply to the building. The cost to install IBC and IFC compliant egress route identifiers is very minimal. Organizations and owners can elect to forgo the more traditional setup or enhance their current emergency backup devices with luminous signs. Proficient signage and markings are a vital part of any building emergency exit plan. Without these items, occupants cannot maneuver down stairwells and hallways to locate an exit.

Excessive injuries have been the result of many building disasters. This is due to the backup procedures not going as planned. Lights do not come on, people cannot see, and the resulting panic leaves more people pushing and shoving to get out. Occupants fall down stairs, get lost in hallways, and remain in the building to be injured further. It takes emergency personnel more time to find them because of the dark building conditions. Effective signage and marking reduce these undesirable results. Injuries caused by insufficient signs and procedures are put on the owner or organizations. Lawsuits, compensation, compliance fines, and many other costs can greatly surpass the cost of ensuring safer evacuation conditions.

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