Egress Exit Signage that Every Building Needs

Under normal conditions, egress exit signs are a recitation of what most building occupants already know: how to access building exits. During low visibility evacuations, however, luminescent egress signs may be the only indicators of egress paths. At Jessup Manufacturing, we offer luminescent exit signage and egress signs that guide evacuees to building exits during low visibility. Below, we look at four types of signage that every building needs concerning evacuation safety.

Direction arrows

According to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) code 101, direction arrows that indicate the continuation of an egress exit path should be posted when its continuation is not obvious. For example, when a hallway connects to another hallway that runs perpendicularly, a luminescent direction arrow should indicate the direction of the egress path in the new hallway.

There are various types of directional arrows, from simplistic chevron arrows to arrows that are combined with the word “exit”. But the key to their functionality is to implement them in accordance with NFPA 101.

No exit signs

According to NFPA 101, “no exit” signs should be placed on any door, passage, or stairway that is not a building discharge and does not lead to one, but that could be mistaken for a building discharge or an egress exit path. By implementing luminescent “no exit” signs, building owners can improve evacuation speed by helping evacuees access vertical exit enclosures (referred to here as “enclosures”).

Emergency exit symbols

According to the International Building Code (IBC) and International Fire Code (IFC), luminescent emergency exit symbols (a.k.a. running man signs) should be placed on exit-leading doors within enclosures. Mounted in the center of each door 18 inches above the finished floor, the symbols remain visible when evacuees are in crawling position. In addition to indicating exit-leading doors, the symbols’ running man character indicates how evacuees should travel after they open the doors (up, down, left, or right).

Building exit signs

According to OSHA regulations, a luminous exit sign should mark permanent building discharges, except when a building discharge is part of a transparent enclosure that obviously reveals a building discharge. Exit signs come in several varieties, with photoluminescent signs offering the most reliability and cost-effectiveness. Unlike electrical signage, photoluminescent signage requires no electricity or maintenance, and contains no breakable parts.

Choosing the right egress exit signage

There are several sellers of luminescent egress products. At Jessup manufacturing, we offer products that contain our patented Glo Brite technology, which offers superior visibility and burn time (up to 96 hours in total darkness). For over a decade, we have invested countless hours of research in developing the best photoluminescent technology for emergency egress signage. The result is photoluminescent products that deliver superior performance year after year.

If your building is located in a state that does not require IFC compliance, it is still important to outfit its egress exit paths with IFC compliant egress markings and signage. According to a 2009 study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the behavior of evacuees is perhaps the greatest predictor of evacuation time. By implementing luminescent egress markings and signage, building owners can help evacuees make informed decisions that improve evacuation time.


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