Where Should I Install Emergency Exit Signs?


Where Should I Install Emergency Exit Signs?

For building owners and operators, the safety of their occupants is a number one priority. Even so, you never fully appreciate emergency exit signs and lighting until you need them. Making sure that you install emergency exit signs in the proper places and illuminate a path in the building leading to an exit before trouble happens will not only ensure people can evacuate safely and quickly, but it is the law.


So just where do you need to install emergency lights and exit signs? Whether you are in the midst of a renovation or a full on new construction project, make sure you follow city, state, and federal rules and regulations regarding emergency exit signage and lighting.

What Organizations Govern Emergency Exit Signs?

Not just one, but several organizations have put codes in places regarding the type of product, installation, inspection, and testing of emergency exit signs and lighting. You will want to make sure that your building follows the rules set in place by all of these organizations to ensure you are following the law and keeping everyone in your building safe.

  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
  • National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
  • Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO)
  • International Fire Code
  • International Building Code


Beyond these organizations, check with your local fire marshal. Oftentimes local requirements apply to individual jurisdictions. For example, in New York City they have specific codes unique to their city around what types of emergency exit signs need to be used in certain buildings and where and how lighting should be placed. The fire marshal or a fire safety inspector can clear up any questions in the way of local requirements.

Where Should I Install Emergency Exit Signs?

Installing emergency exit signs is simpler than you might think. First, keep in mind that each door exiting a hallway that leads to the primary building exit needs to be clearly marked with a sign reading “EXIT”. These exit signs need to be illuminated at all times. That means they either need to contain a battery backup or be self-immunating in case of a power outage. The sign needs to be legible letters in a distinct color that contrasts with its background.


You also want to make sure of easy visibility of the exit sign and door. That means all exit route doors should be unobstructed and this includes the line of sight to the exit sign itself. For example, if a hallway turns or the direction of travel to the exit isn’t obvious, then you will require additional exit signs with arrows to show the way to the nearest exit.


Lastly, doors that might be mistaken for an exit along the route need to be marked as “Not as exit” or indicate what the rooms use is (closet, storage, etc).



Where Should I Install Emergency Exit Lighting?

Emergency exit lighting can be a little tricky because installing it in the right places is just one part of the equation. You will want to make sure the lights are aimed appropriately to illuminate the walkways and not the ceilings or walls. This might seem like common sense, but is an often overlooked task.


All exit routes in a building must be illuminated with emergency lighting. This can be photoluminescent lighting or otherwise, but just so anyone with normal vision can see a path to the exit. Most buildings, including commercial, industrial, institutional,  and educational, generally require emergency lighting.


You do not need to install emergency lighting in any area that has no windows and does not provide an exit path. This can include internal rooms, bathrooms, and storage areas larger than a broom closet.

Shop Emergency Exit Signs and Lighting

Jessup Manufacturing is a leader in photoluminescent films and sheets. As a trusted and certified provider of photoluminescent emergency exit signs and lighting our team is happy to answer questions regarding requirements and installation.


Contact us to learn more.

2022-05-16 06:07:00
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