What Building Owners Need to Know About Exit Signs with Directional Arrows

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What Building Owners Need to Know About Exit Signs with Directional Arrows

No one expects an emergency to happen, but when it does, being prepared makes all the difference. As a commercial building owner or building manager, ensuring the correct placement and implementation of fire safety signage and lighting is not only the law, but can save lives.

 

Exit signs and emergency lighting as essential features to illuminate paths and show exit signs in low-visibility situations. Having the proper technology in place and sign placement is important to help those in your building during an emergency situation. In particular, exit signs with directional arrows are one of the most important tools your building uses to help occupants find the quickest path to exit your building.

Inspection Requirements for Exit Signs with Directional Arrows

During an inspection, exit signs and emergency lighting can be easily overlooked. Inspectors are required to look for the presence of the signs, while several regulatory agencies and codes govern exit signs and emergency lighting requirements. These agencies include:

  • the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA);
  • the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA);
  • the Joint Commission on Accreditation Health Organization (JCAHO);
  • the International Fire Code; and
  • the International Building Code (IBC).

 

Section 6.5.12 Life Safety states that an inspector should:

  1. inspect for the presence of emergency lighting systems;
  2. inspect for exit signs at all exits, and inspect for independent power sources, such

as batteries; and

  1. inspect for the presence of directional signs where an exit location is not obvious.

 

Specific life safety guidelines for exit signs, including exit signs with directional arrows, have been set up for commercial buildings to follow. In many cases, the government will be involved in ensuring your building is compliant with these codes. Violations can result in serious fines, upwards of $250,000 or even doubled depending on the corporation's size.

Requirements for Exit Signs with Directional Arrows

An exit sign with a directional arrow needs to be used when the pathway to the exit or the exit sign itself is not clearly visible. Most exit signs with directional arrows need to be illuminated (either self-illuminated or electricity/battery powered) with red or green lights.

 

The exit routes include all vertical and horizontal areas along the route (including stairs). OSHA Standard Number 1910.37(b) states that lighting and marking must be adequate and appropriate. The specifications read:

  • Each exit route must be adequately lighted so that an employee with normal vision can see along the exit route.
  • If the direction of travel to the exit or exit discharge is not immediately apparent, signs must be posted along the exit access indicating the direction of travel to the nearest exit and exit discharge. Additionally, the line of sight to an exit sign must be clearly visible at all times.
  • Each exit sign must be illuminated to a surface value of at least five foot-candles (54 lux) by a reliable light source and be distinctive in color. Self-luminous or electroluminescent signs that have a minimum luminance surface value of at least 0.06 foot lamberts (0.21 cd/m2) are permitted.

 

OSHA Standard Number 1910.35 also states that the exit route provisions outlined in NFPA 101, Life Safety Code, 2009, or the International Fire Code, 2009 edition, are considered acceptable. Therefore, if your building is in compliance with these standards then they are in compliance with OSHA. State and local regulations may differ so make sure to confirm any changes.

Shop Exit Signs with Directional Arrows

Jessup Manufacturing is a leader in photoluminescent fire safety signage, including a variety of exit signs with directional arrows. Photoluminescent products require zero electricity or battery hook-up and all our products are UL 924 listed, and meet current NFPA Life Safety Code 101 and OSHA requirements while being code compliant with 2009/2012/2015/2018 IBC/IFC. Shop our entire selection of exit signs with directional arrows today.

2022-05-13 06:05:00
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