Egress Lighting Requirements – Creating Safe Evacuation Paths

Every structure is required by building code regulations to contain safe and visible evacuation paths. Owners have several available options when implementing items to support an outlined egress route. Lighting, signing, alarm systems, sprinklers, and floor maps are used to help individuals be aware of their location and direct them to an area of safety. The International Building Code (IBC) requires signs for each means of egress to be illuminated at all times. Lighting must be 1-foot candle from the floor for each required space in the defined safety codes. Egress lighting requirements must be met to ensure individuals occupying the structure at the time of an emergency have the necessary aids to exit regardless of surrounding conditions. Backup lighting powered by batteries or a generator is common throughout a structure; however, a secondary failover method should be present in the instance of failure. Egress lighting requirements cover specific evacuation areas within a structure including:

• Stairs
• Ramps
• Corridors
• Exit Doors
• Fire Escapes

Areas containing obstacles or fire equipment should have visual indicators to inform occupants of their location. While every component used to outline evacuation paths and points within a structure is equally imperative, one particular product can be implemented to supply dependable visibility in any type of emergency. Photoluminescent signing supplies a reliable visual aid in situations where thick smoke or low lighting could affect an individual’s ability to find their way out.

Why Is Photoluminescence the Most Suitable Solution?

Self-luminous signing with photoluminescent qualities is one of the safest, most reliable options available to owners. It does not require electricity to be seen and remains lit as long as the appropriate lighting is emitted during regular building operations. Photoluminescent identifiers store energy from surrounding artificial or natural light sources for release at a later time in low light conditions. Products designed with this characteristic put off a green glow as structural light becomes dismal or non-existent. Egress lighting requirements recommend the use of photoluminescent signing and markings to ensure a path is visible at all times. Backup lighting powered by battery or generator is required by these same regulations; however, these resources are capable of failing as an emergency takes place.

Backup sources require a specific degree of maintenance and have a high probability of failure even when the utmost regular care is provided. Photoluminescence eliminates a number of complications experienced by owners who choose to only rely on the basic egress lighting requirements set by local building codes. In some instances, backup lighting might kick on and then fail or not switch over at all. Occupants are then left in a dark building where unfamiliarity or panic could affect the necessary judgment for exiting quickly. Photoluminescent products support installed lighting by providing a secondary visibility aid to occupants when unexpected conditions occur. Egress lighting requirements can be further supported by implementing affordable photoluminescent signing and markings along each exit path within a building. The decision to use self-luminous identifiers in a structure makes certain safe, dependable evacuation aids are supplied during an emergency evacuation.

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