How Photoluminescent Signs and Markings Improve Evacuation Safety

Photoluminescent safety products have been sold for decades, but for much of that time, their short burn time and low illumination have made them risky. Today, luminescent signs and egress markings have improved burn time and illumination, characteristics that—when combined with their other benefits—make them less risky than electrical exit signs and egress lighting. If your building still relies on electrical exit signs and backup lighting for evacuation safety, below are three reasons why photoluminescent signs and egress markings are the safer choice.

No Breakable Parts

Most building owners do not consider the safety of the components in electrical exit signs and emergency backup lights, but they should. Electrical exit signs and backup lights contain breakable parts that could malfunction due to falling debris or an explosion. While these things seldom precipitate evacuations, evacuation safety should account for all contingencies.

Containing no breakable parts, photoluminescent exit signs and egress markings are impervious to falling debris and shockwaves from explosions. Instead of relying on light bulbs and wiring, photoluminescent signs and egress markings rely on rigid photoluminescent material.


When the power goes out, batteries power electrical exit signs, and batteries or a standby generator power backup lighting. Either of these power sources could malfunction, as the World Trade Center’s generator failure during the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing provides an infamous example.

Not only are they unreliable, electrical exit signs and backup lighting are also expensive to maintain and operate. Electricity-free exit signage and egress markings are self-sustaining, costing nothing to operate or maintain.

Perform Well in Smoke

Backup lighting performs poorly when dense smoke is present. Due to its high wavelength illumination, smoke can limit the luminance it emits, leaving vertical exit enclosures and hallways dim and shadowy. Along with not illuminating an egress path, this effect encourages panic behavior that could lead to deadly egress jams. According to research by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the behavior of evacuees is one of the strongest predictor’s of an evacuation’s success.

The Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) require many buildings to contain backup lighting. Building owners should also consider implementing luminescent egress markings—a move that state or municipal building codes may require anyway. Emitting low wavelength light that glows instead of shines; photoluminescent signs and egress markings offer impressive visibility through smoke.

GloBrite has the Egress Products You Need

At GloBrite, we sell exit signs, fire safety signs, and egress markings that contain our patented GloBrite technology. Unlike some luminescent products, our products burn for up to ninety-six hours in total darkness and exhibit remarkable visibility at a hundred feet, even when smoke is present.

Most buildings never experience a potentially deadly evacuation, but when such evacuations occur and buildings are unprepared, the fallout for building owners—financial and otherwise—can be immense. If your building contains only electrical exit signs and backup lighting, do not wait for a tragedy to force your hand. Call GloBrite today and get the egress products your building needs to offer consummate evacuation safety.

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