There is nothing worse than being trapped in a building during a fire. And often times there is little to no warning that a fire has started. That’s why it is extremely important to not only make sure that all of your fire and life safety protection features are working and up-to-date with the codes, but that the proper egress is made, including egress signs.
Photoluminescent egress path marking systems and exit signs are an essential part of a building’s fire and life safety systems. Egress path markers and exit signs help occupants navigate their way through the building to safety in the event of a fire. Egress signs should be placed in key locations throughout the facility to indicate the safe areas in which occupants can exit to.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Life Safety Code 101, means of egress must be marked with egress signage, such as “Exit” signs in all the required areas. Exit signs must mark all exits and accesses to exits with visibly legible letters that are at least 4 inches tall. When the direction to safety is not clear, the sign must be marked with a chevron-shaped directional pointer. However, any door, corridor or stairwell that is not an exit or an access to an exit, and which could be mistaken for an exit, is to be identified by a sign reading “No Exit”. The word “No” must be at least 2 inches tall, while the word “Exit” must be 1 inch tall.
Other codes that requires means of egress signage:
- International Fire Code (IFC) – Chapter 10 Means of Egress, Section 1024 Luminous Egress Path Marking.
- State of California Building Code – Chapter 10, Means of Egress requires in Group A, E, I, R-1, R-2 and R-3 Occupancies, in Exit corridors leading to Emergency Exit stairwells.
- State of Connecticut, Section 1026 – Requires in Group A, B, E, I-1, I-2, R-1 and R-2 occupancies, in Exit corridors leading to Emergency Exit stairwells.
- New York City Building Code —All non-residential structures
- New York City Local Law 26 Compliance
- General Services Administration (GSA) – Exit Path Markings
Planning for fire emergencies is essential, especially when it comes to the evacuation plan. The better prepared the less likely for injury.