Building Egress Lighting: Preparing Your Building for an Evacuation
Evacuation safety is a state of building safety that has several components. Often, buildings have some of these components, such as egress lights and luminescent exit signs, but not others. For the utmost evacuation safety, buildings should have the following lighting components implemented in their egress system.
Mandated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Building egress lighting helps building occupants do the obvious: see their way to a building exit. But it has its flaws, particularly: breakable parts, poor performance in the presence of smoke, and reliance on generator power, which could fail.
Choosing battery-powered lighting can eliminate the third weakness, although for buildings that have hundreds of units, maintaining batteries can be time consuming. Whether a building contains battery or generator powered lighting, maintaining it according to the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Life Safety Code is the best way to ensure continued performance.
Photoluminescent egress markings
When backup lighting fails, as it did during the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing, luminous egress markings keep egress paths traversable by illuminating their dimensions and equipment. According to a study by the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, evacuees feel that evacuation time decreases when egress paths contain strong visual cues, and that it increases when strong cues are absent. Luminescent egress markings provide strong visual cues during low visibility.
With no breakable parts and excellent visibility in the presence of smoke, luminous egress markings are without the weaknesses of backup lighting. The best references for applying them are the International Fire Code (IFC) and the NFPA’s Life Safety Code.
Photoluminescent emergency egress signs
Self luminous emergency signs are a critical aspect of evacuation safety. Although technically not egress lighting, they serve the same purpose: to help evacuees reach building exits during low visibility. Five safety signs that are critical to evacuation safety are: “Not an Exit” signs, running man signs, directional arrow signs, floor identification signs, and assisted rescue area signs. The best references for mounting the signs are the IFC and the NFPA’s Life Safety Code.
Photoluminescent exit signs
Photouminescent exit signs have two safety advantages over electric exit signs: no breakable parts, and better visibility in the presence of smoke. They also have a long lifespan of 25+ years, and are an excellent way to eliminate the electricity and maintenance expense of electric signage.
Glo Brite has the products you need
At Glo Brite, we offer photoluminescent egress markings, emergency signs, and exit signs that contain our patented Glo Brite technology, which offers superior visibility at 100 feet, and a burn time of up to 96 hours in total darkness.
If your building has traditional building egress lighting, but not luminescent egress products, don’t wait for the failure of backup lighting (which could happen for several reasons) to produce serious injuries or fatalities that lead to lawsuits. Call us today to learn more about the benefits of or products, or browse through our signage and egress markings that meet OSHA, NFPA, and IFC regulations.