To regulate the construction quality, structural stability, life safety, and fire safety of both commercial and residential buildings throughout the entire world, the International Building Code (IBC) and International Fire Code (IFC) develop policies to which businesses and building owners must strictly adhere. Both the IBC and IFC were established by the International Code Council (ICC), and they are convened on and updated every three years. The IBC regulates new construction, while the IFC standardizes construction on already existing buildings. Both compliance codes are almost universally accepted in North America, as, at present, all fifty states have adopted some version of the IBC, and forty-two states have ratified some rendition of the IFC.
Concerning the buildings located in the states that have not yet endorsed a variant of the IFC compliance guidelines, both the IBC and IFC means of egress regulations are one of the most vigilantly practiced building safety standards in the United States. In order to come under both IBC and IFC means of egress regulations, certain types of buildings, including educational, hotel, public assembly, business, institutional, and / or residential locations must have occupied floors located higher than seventy-five feet from the lowest level where fire department vehicles can access the location. Recognizing the importance of safety protocol as mandated by both IBC and IFC, even smaller buildings that do not need these particular sets of regulations will still implement the means of egress guidelines.
The number one priority for both IBC and IFC means of egress regulations are to ensure the welfare of building occupants. In addition, these guidelines are set to maximize the proficiency of evacuation plans, which should be practiced and preached by the building owners. If followed according to plan, the chances of problems occurring are effectively minimized, which will decrease opportunities for legal action that normally result when injuries happen during building emergencies, and these injuries are severe or even fatal. To optimize the protection of all building occupants, both IBC and IFC codes require the application of luminous stripes, luminous emergency exit symbols, and luminous floor identification signs. Steps, handrails, potential obstacles, and exit leading doors can be illuminated in such a way that they become clearly visible, no matter what type of hazard is at play.
Luminous egress stripes and luminous signage have proven to work better than any other means of egress products, including emergency back up lighting. In fact, self- illuminating egress products should take the place of all emergency back up lighting systems for two reasons: they perform poorly when smoke from a fire is present, and they are only as reliable as their dedicated power source. Conversely, self-illuminating egress products glow in the dark brightly, remain easily visible through smoke, and they do not require a power source.