Exit Sign Requirements: Frequently Asked Questions
Before you install exit signs in your building, there are several requirements to be aware of, particularly exit sign requirements NFPA (National Fire protection Association) and OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration). Not following these requirements could yield unfortunate results, such as stiff fines and lawsuits. To help building owners install the right signage in the correct fashion, and to educate about building egress issues, we answer commonly asked questions concerning exit sign requirements.
Do buildings need a minimum number of signs?
OSHA 29 CFR 1910.37(b)(1) states that building exits must be clearly marked by a sign reading “Exit.” Therefore, the minimum number of signs a building requires is the number of egress exits it contains.
Do buildings need a minimum number of exit paths?
29 CFR 1910.36(b)(1) requires a building to have at least two exit paths. However, CFR 1910.36(b)(3) states that buildings can have only one path if their size, layout, and occupancy permit it.
How Does OSHA view non-traditional exit points?
According to OSHA standards, exits must be permanently available to all building occupants to qualify as egress exits. This means that exits that are sometimes locked, are available temporarily due to construction, or are only available to select persons do not qualify as egress exits. The door at a loading dock is an example of an exit that would typically not qualify as an egress exit.
How high should signs be mounted?
According to the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) code 101, exit signs should be mounted with their bottom not less than 80 inches above the finished floor. However, because mounting guidelines can vary by city and state, building owners should also refer to state and city laws for sign mounting requirements.
How bright must exit signs be?
29 CFR 1910.37(b)(6) requires signs to have a surface luminance of at least 54 lux. Self-luminous or electroluminescent signs can have a minimum surface luminance of .06 foot lamberts.
What are the design requirements for signs?
29 CFR 1910.37(b)(7) requires signs to display the word “Exit” in letters that are at least six inches high. The principal stroke of the letters must be at least 3/4 inches wide. Signs should also display distinctive surface luminance (red or green light).
Does OSHA distinguish between photoluminescent and electrical exit signage?
With the exception that photoluminescent signs can have a different minimum surface luminance than electrical signs, OSHA standards do not distinguish between the signs, considering one as acceptable as the other. There are, however, reasons to implement luminescent signage instead of electrical signage.
Unlike electrical signage, photoluminescent signage contains no breakable parts and requires no electricity or battery power, making it fail proof. In addition to costing nothing to operate, it also costs nothing to maintain.
At Jessup Manufacturing, we understand the challenges and pressure of meeting exit sign requirements. We also understand the importance of photoluminescent exit signs to evacuation safety. To give your building the most reliable exit signage on the market, implement our patented Glo Brite signage today.