Photoluminescence for Safety Grade Materials

photoluminescent-pigmentPhotoluminescent material isn’t anything new. The same properties that make children’s stickers glow-in-the-dark give photoluminescent safety materials their ability to illuminate dark spaces. That isn’t to say that your children’s stickers and our safety signs are the same thing. Far from it, actually. GloBrite exit signs use safety grade photoluminescent pigment that was developed in 2000 to make exit signs more effective and longer-lasting. That same year, NFPA Life Safety Code 101 approved photoluminescent exit signs as a safe and effective way to mark exits in buildings. Since then, the NFPA has reaffirmed this decision every three years.

Photoluminescent signs are made from an inorganic material that is not harmful to the environment and requires no electricity to function. Photoluminescent pigment suppliers tend to prefer green for exit signs and warning signs, because it is the most visible color to the human eye in emergency situations. Safety signs can also be made with photoluminescent pigments in other colors, typically red.

The pigments developed back in 2000 have been found to be extremely effective. They take a bit longer to charge than previous pigments, but they hold their glow for well over the required amount of time. According to current code requirements, exit signs in buildings are required to remain illuminated for 90 minutes. All GloBrite exit signs have been tested and shown to substantially exceed that mark.

Back in 2000, some police and firefighters doubted that photoluminescent safety signs could be as effective as their electric counterparts, but over the years photoluminescent signs have actually been shown to be safer than electric options. Electric exit signs have batteries in them that allow them to continue functioning when the power goes out. These batteries are supposed to be fully drained and recharged once a year in order to meet the requirement of 90 minutes of illumination. This periodic draining is regularly overlooked, however, which means that those batteries slowly lose their efficacy. Over the course of just a few years, exit signs could lose up to 10 to 15 minutes of power. In fact, it’s estimated that 40 to 60% of building exit signs do not work properly.

Unfortunately, fire officials don’t have the time to do regular inspections, which means that many building owners are using faulty electric exit signs without realizing it, and sometimes without caring.

Make your building safer, save money, and help minimize your liability in the event of an emergency by investing in safety grade photoluminescent signs and tape. Contact Jessup Manufacturing, the makers of GloBrite, to learn more.

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