A large majority of building fires and disasters occur at the least expected times. Building inhabitants have to know how to safely exit the building during these instances of turmoil and crisis. Every time a disaster occurs, an investigation is performed to determine how the fire or damage originated. Many of these inspections end up with a recommendation for improved signs and safety measures. Throughout the years fire safety has become a growing concern as more and more injuries could have been avoided and were simply unnecessary. Most states have adopted regulations that enforce building safety and make owners legally liable. A risk assessment can be performed on a building to determine where improvements can be made. Older methods of emergency lighting and exit identification are not considered as efficient as they once used to be. Signs and markings made from photo-luminescent materials are taking the place of older safety compliance items because they communicate exit paths more effectively. They are becoming a standard for building fire safety. Companies that want to do more than the bare minimum are turning to these items to ensure the utmost safety for building occupants.
Creating a Unified Code to Reduce Safety Disasters
IFC compliant exit signs have been a part of fire safety measures for buildings since the origination of the regulations. Their importance has become more and more significant as building emergencies have resulting in severe injuries and casualties. Investigations have continually found that with improved signs, individuals could get out without harm. Photo-luminescent signs are not required to be compliant but over time have been found to be far more effective. Through the 1900’s there was no standard set of regulations among the states. Each region of the country had its own set of codes and each varied depending upon various factors. It was not until the 21st century that the International Code Council recognized a need for standard safety regulations. They began working on codes for both building construction and post construction safety. Since then, many of the states have decided to use this standard for building safety.
Without standard guidelines, there was too much leniency in what was required for a structure to be safe for workers, occupants, and emergency personnel. Every disaster or fire that came about resulted in injuries that should never have happened. The council believed that by implementing a unified guideline for these measures, fatalities and injuries during a crisis would be drastically minimized. Signs and markings perform two very important functions: keep occupants calm and keep them focused. The environment itself is pure chaos; however, the visual markings allow individuals to calmly follow them without panic and actually get out of the building faster. These visual aids help occupants locate fire emergency equipment. If the only exit is blocked, a fire extinguisher must be located. Signs show the location of these items. Emergency personnel use them as well to locate hose hookups and maneuver through dark or smoky buildings. These regulations have greatly improved the safety of people entering and exiting a building. Owners are finding the addition of luminescent IFC compliant exit signs has additional safety benefits.