Emergency Lighting & Exit Signs


Emergency Lights


Emergency lighting is required in all areas where customers will congregate. Some staff areas may also need to be equipped with emergency lighting as well. To avoid a dangerous failure in an actual emergency, schedule periodic Testing and Inspection in accordance with NFPA 101.





Exit Signs


EXIT signs are required above every required exit and directional EXIT signs are required whenever the sign above the door is not immedi-ately visible. All EXIT signs must be tested monthly and serviced annually.







Requirements for Exit Sign Illumination

NFPA 101 defines the methods of illumination for exit signs:

  1. Internally illuminated —the light source is contained inside the device or legend that is illuminated. The light source is typically incandescent, fluorescent, electro luminescent, light-emitting diodes, or photoluminescent;
  2. Photoluminescent —the sign is illuminated by self-contained power sources and operates independently of external power sources. (Batteries do not qualify as a self-contained power source.)

Photoluminescent- The face of the sign must be continually illuminated while the building is occupied. The face of the sign shall be illuminated according to its listing from the face of the sign. The illumination has to be a reliable source as determined by the Authority Having Jurisdiction, AHJ. The AHJ is the ultimate arbiter concerning safety practices and safety equipment for a particular locality.


The charging light must be of the same type that is specified on the sign.


Photoluminescent Signs need a specific type of light and a minimum level of light on the face to assure that the sign will be able to provide adequate illumination in an emergency situation.


During illumination the sign shall not be connected to an automatic timer.


In 2000 the NFPA Life Safety Code was updated and now recognizes certain Photoluminescent Exit signs as an alternative to internally lighted electric powered signs. A photoluminescent sign absorbs light from an activation light source in order to emit light (that is, luminescence).


The sign continues to emit light for a time after the activation light source has been removed.


Photoluminescent Exit signs are in the category of an Internally Illuminated Sign. The signs are permitted, provided they are listed in accordance with UL 924, "Standard for Safety Emergency Lighting and Power Equipment" and meet all the requirements outlined in the criteria from the Life Safety Code 101, 2006 edition parts


Every required exit sign must be suitably illuminated by a reliable light source and be visible in both normal and emergency lighting modes (NFPA 101 2006



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