Building codes are guidelines used before and after construction to create a safe environment for occupants. They are constantly updated to ensure better the health, general safety, and overall welfare of individuals. Jurisdiction authorities determine which codes are required by law and enforced. Most states have adopted IBC and IFC regulations managed by the International Code Council. These codes apply to the construction of a building and fire safety in existing buildings. Local jurisdictions can have their own set of regulations for this purpose. In some instances, national guidelines are altered within a state so that local laws can be enforced properly.
Fire evacuations have specific obstacles such as heavy smoke and burning hazards. Smoke can fill a building very quickly making it hard to identify exit points. Depending on the fire origination, exits can become blocked and impassible. IFC compliant exit signs are included in the compliance regulations to ensure that occupants can find their way in these conditions. Without them, evacuations can go very wrong. Many buildings operate on the bare essentials. Signs run off of lighting and electricity. A backup generator is typically installed for power failures. Fire safety signs and markings are used for lower lighting emergencies so that exits are easily identifiable. Occupants can follow the path identifiers and signs to the exits to access a safe location. Inefficient markings create a higher risk for various injuries and even death. Legal fees, local charges, and reputation damage are all possible when a structure is not in compliance.
Improve Exit Visibility with Photo-luminescent Signs
Photo-luminescent signs and markings have taken egress route identification to the next level. They are actually more affordable when compared to the traditional signage methods. Why are they more efficient? Luminescent identifiers do not require a power source. They can be viewed in a completely dark building. When the electricity goes out and the backup generator fails, occupants still have the necessary resources to exit the structure quickly and safely. Fire conditions are unique and add the obstacle of smoke. Smoke reduces visibility even in a lit building. As it rises and expands, the traditional markings are more difficult to follow. Luminescent materials are still viewable in thick smoke. Fire evacuations are guaranteed to have better results with these types of exit identifiers.
Building owners, designers, and constructors often look at the bottom line and do not want to do more than necessary to comply. Every additional item and step costs more money. However, when implemented right the first time, all costs are reduced. Consider the time it takes for a worker to install electrical exit signs and place ineffective markings. The cost and timeframe to comply are more than required to install luminescent items the first time. Once in place, a building is in compliance and only must be updated when alterations are made. There are no more additional costs or maintenance. Occupants can exit safely without injury in the event of a fire. This prevents medical and legal costs to the owner. Including these IFC compliant exit signs and markings before or after building construction ensures a safe fire evacuation every time.