Finding your way out of a building in the dark is difficult, especially if you are new to the building. Signs placed near exits and along the path to the exit are great but if the power is out, the signs may not be working. There is an alternative you may want to consider instead.

Rules and Guidelines

In the United States, OSHA (Occupational Health and Safety Administration) and NFPA (the National Fire Protection Association) both publish standards for safety in the workplace and public facilities. OHSA covers commercial and industrial facilities while the NFPA Life Safety 101 code goes many steps further and spells out rules and guidelines for egress, occupancy limitations, and fire safety in many situations and structure types.

While in many cases these guidelines are not hard-and-fast laws, many local government agencies have adopted them and they are now part of the building code in most cities and towns.

Photoluminescent Signs

In the areas that use the NFPA code and the OSHA guidelines, signs marking the exit or egress routes of many buildings have become mandated. The signs need to be able to be seen in the dark without a flashlight. Some buildings are equipped with illuminated signs but the trend that is become more common is to use photoluminescent exit signs instead. These signs glow in the dark and do not require a source of power at all.

Many companies are making these signs but if you want to be compliant with OSHA and NFPA, check with the sign company to see if their option meets the standards from these two organizations.

Cost Savings

Aside from working without any power, the next biggest benefit is of these photoluminescent signs is that they do not require maintenance and the cost to purchase these signs is very low. Even if you are placing a large number of them in your building, the cost savings from eliminating the power consumption of standard exit signs over time is going to save you money. The signs are easy to install and once they are up, you do not need to do anything else to them.

Availability of Signs

Photoluminescent signs are available from many different vendors and the layout or design of the signs are different from one manufacturer to another. Most vendors have signs that direct people in different directions so with a little planning you can point out an entire route with the signs that people can follow to get safely out of your building.