Luminous Evacuation Signs: Are They Better than Non-Luminous Signs?

Thanks to improvements in photoluminescent technology, luminous building signage is now as popular as non-luminous signage. Self-luminous markers are better still for safety, but are they better than non-luminous signs? In terms of evacuation safety, most safety experts say yes. To understand why, consider the ways in which photoluminescent signs are superior to standard ones.

No Reliance on Backup Lighting

Many buildings require backup lighting, but it should not be their only source of emergency lighting. As the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing demonstrated, building owners cannot rely on backup lighting alone to illuminate egress paths and safety signs. They must also implement luminous evacuation signs that remain visible when backup lighting fails. Globrite’s electricity-free safety signage burns for up to 96 hours in total darkness and supplies the ultimate electricity-free exit indicator.

Remain Visible Through Smoke

In addition to being vulnerable to generator failure, backup lighting is also vulnerable to smoke. As smoke density increases, its illumination is blocked by smoke particles that have less of an effect on photoluminescent light. When smoke is present, evacuating as quickly as possible is critical – a scenario that non-luminous signs can make difficult when dense smoke obscures vision.

Provide Important Visual Cues

According to a study by the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, evacuees feel that their evacuation time is decreased when egress paths contain strong visual cues. When they lack strong cues, they feel that their evacuation time is increased. To ensure that your building egress paths contain cues that help building occupants evacuate efficiently, implementing luminous evacuation signs is the obvious choice.

Discourage Panic Reactions

According to research by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the behavior of evacuees is one of the greatest predictors of evacuation safety. When evacuees engage in panic behavior – especially when they move against egress flow – the results can be tragic. By informing evacuees of their position in vertical exit enclosures, indicating exit-leading doors, and indicating assisted rescue areas; self luminous safety signs help them make productive decisions that increase evacuation safety.

Clearly Identify Fire Equipment

Identifying fire equipment with non-luminous signage can be a futile endeavor. If smoke is present or a power outage occurs during a fire, they become difficult, if not impossible, to read. Conversely, photoluminescent signs remain visible during power outages and in the presence of smoke. Because fire extinguishers and fire hose and standpipe units can be used to extinguish a section of fiery egress path, signs that identify them are a critical aspect of evacuation safety.

Globrite has the Signage You Need

If your building contains non-luminous evacuation signage, replacing it with luminous signage could prevent evacuation-related injuries and fatalities. At Globrite, we make photoluminescent signage that burns for up to 96 hours in total darkness and remains visible through smoke. Without signage that performs in this manner, your building could become a danger zone in the event of a fire or power outage. To get the signage that your building needs, browse through our product pages, or call us for more information.

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