Have you ever wondered why a building evacuation goes wrong? Over the years the media has covered many instances where a fire or other emergency has caused injuries within a building. Occupants could not reach safety for various reasons and the end result is sometimes tragic. Buildings and structures have specific regulations pertaining to occupant safety that are required to be met by law. These guidelines constantly change as construction materials and other factors change. When a building is originally created, there are many local and national regulations that may apply. Failure to comply with these rules results in unsafe emergency conditions to individuals residing in the building. Not all of these reported tragedies are a direct result of non-compliance. In some cases, the emergency was so bad that people simply could not access exit points and reach safety. The regulations laid out by IBC and IFC codes are meant to reduce these occurrences by providing easy to follow paths to exit locations. When emergency exit signs are applied correctly, occupants can reach safety in some of the worst emergency conditions.
Using Highly Effective Markings That Do Not Harm the Environment
Emergency exit signs commonly used for building safety compliance require energy, light bulbs, and maintenance. They are not friendly to the environment because of the additional energy required and also due to the constant changing of florescent bulbs. It is not until an emergency occurs that many building owners realize how ineffective these items really are. A crisis develops and the electricity goes out. No worries, there is a backup generator that will kick on so that occupants can see the signs and markings put in place. But then the one thing happens that owners are often not prepared for. The generator never kicks on. Now the building is completely dark. Markings cannot be seen for exiting stairwells and other internal structures. Occupants cannot identify where they are and in their panicked state do not know where to go. As a result, the unfortunate events seen so many times in the media occur once again.
Photo-luminescent materials used to make IFC compliant exit signs and markings are the answer. These signs are highly cost effective and offer more dependability. Why is this so? This type of signage does not need electricity to be seen. That means no power, a failed generator, and other conditions do not affect their visibility or effectiveness. Occupants can maneuver down stairs and other obstacles every time without confusion. Markings can be seen in a completely dark area and help individuals identify steps, roof access, and all exit points. They even direct them to the safest area outside. All is accomplished without the need for a power source or the use of environmentally harmful materials. These items do not need to be maintained consistently and only need to be installed once. This is less costly for a building owner. Highly visible markings under any condition also protect emergency responders as they attempt to put out a fire or rescue occupants. Luminescent materials provide better overall protection for everyone involved and are environmentally safe.