Choosing the Best Floor Identification Signs
A floor identification sign identifies a level within a building, featuring at least one or more numerical characters that coincide with the level on which it is posted. Implementing the signs requires some consideration, beginning with where you need to implement them. For the purposes of this blog, we discuss floor identification signs for vertical exit enclosures (referred to here as “enclosures”), the long stairwells that building occupants use during evacuations. When they have the right design and positioning, they improve evacuation time and safety by informing evacuees of their location within an enclosure, which helps to keep them more confident and calm. Below, we list the optimal design and position for the signage according to the International Fire Code (IFC).
Floor Identification Signage According to the IFC
Created by the International Code Council (ICC) to regulate the egress safety within new and existing construction that features occupancy above 75 feet from the lowest level of fire vehicle access, the IFC, a version of which has been adopted by at least 42 states, is the world’s most trusted source for egress safety, making it invaluable for identifying the best type of sign for your building’s enclosures. Below, we detail the code’s guidelines for the signage’s design, information, and application.
The IFC requires the sign to contain the following information: the identification of the stair or ramp, level (also in Braille), the total number of levels within an enclosure, the availability of roof access, and the story of and direction toward the building exit.
The IFC requires the sign to exhibit the following design characteristics: photoluminescence, a minimum size of 18 inches by 12 inches, letters identifying the stair enclosure at least 1.5 inches tall, a number identifying the level at least 5 inches tall and located in the sign’s center, other letters and numbering at least 1 inch tall, characters and background with a non-glare finish, and either light characters on a dark background, or dark characters on a light background.
The IFC requires the sign to be posted at every floor landing within an enclosure, mounted 5 feet above the finished floor surface in a position that remains visible when doors are open or closed.
Floor Identification Signage Among Other Implements
While the signage alone is important, it ultimately serves in a larger safety system for enclosures that, according to the IFC, should also include: photoluminescent exit signs, emergency exit symbols (a.k.a. running man signs), and exit signs, implements that can be purchased through online sellers of photoluminescent safety products. Regardless of your state’s position on the IFC, implementing its measures can protect your building occupants against evacuation related injuries and casualties and you against the legal action that such happenings usually bring.