Are Photoluminescent Markings Required in All Buildings?

Photoluminescent marking are not required in all building, but as of 2012, photoluminescent egress markings are required in high-rise buildings over 75 feet in height. The International Building Code (IBC) and the International Fire Code (IFC), along with several other jurisdictions now mandate the implementation of photoluminescent markings in high-rise buildings. The Photoluminescent Safety Association (PSA) has been very instrumental in pushing for updated regulation protocol that requires photoluminescent markings in buildings, because photoluminescent markings have consistently proven to be the best exit path markers available on the market today. In the last five years, the PSA has supported several organizations, lending assistance in helping the organizations adopt recommendations made by the association of Terrorism Resistant Buildings regarding photoluminescent exit path markings. To accomplish this feat, the PSA has been pushing to update the IBC requirements, which would then include the TRB mandates regarding photoluminescent exit path markings.

For a little bit more on the PSA, in case you are unfamiliar, the code committee of the PSA works toward constantly maintaining awareness of code changes that may affect certain industries, and then after evaluating the recent code changes, recommend to certain industries that type of changes that they should make to its building codes so that overall life safety is enhanced. The PSA committee is made up of a Board of Directors, of which one will act as Chair. In addition, the PSA is open to all organizations that wish to become members. One notable recent update regarding the PSA involves working with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) in adding code changes to both the 5000 Building Code and to the 101 Life Safety Code.

The following will provide a brief list of those building codes that require photoluminescent markings:

  • The 2009 and 2012 International Building Code, which adopted that several types of nonresidential buildings that were newly constructed and are over seventy-five feet high install photoluminescent markings in all enclosed emergency exit stairwells.
  • The 2009 and 2012 International Fire Code, which require that certain, already existing nonresidential buildings over seventy-five feet high install photoluminescent markings in all enclosed emergency exit stairwells.
  • The NFPA 101 and 5000 requires all buildings to have photoluminescent exit path markings in all stairwells.
  • State of California Building Code requires exit corridors that lead to emergency exit stairwells be outfitted with a photoluminescent means of egress.
  • New York City Building Code mandates that all nonresidential structures with enclosed emergency exit stairwells be installed with photoluminescent markings.
  • The General Service Administration maintains that photoluminescent markings be incorporated in all new and existing buildings.

For more information regarding certain jurisdictions that may require photoluminescent exit path markers, contacting GloBrite Systems. Speaking with a GloBrite professional will help you gain a thorough understanding of all the protocol centered on photoluminescent markings, and help you find out if your location is up to PSA and building code standards.

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