Fire Exit Signs, commonly known as exit signs, aid in the emergency egress of building occupants during a fire by providing a lighted version of the word EXIT. Federal, state and local building codes require fire exit signs in all public and commercial facilities. These building codes stipulate the installation locations and placement for fire exit signs throughout the building and the type of fire exit sign that must be installed.
While all fire exit signs are required to be illuminated, not all models require electricity. UL 924 listed fire exit signs are available in AC powered, non-electric self luminous Tritium or photoluminescent models all of which are compliant for use in the United States and Canada.
Photoluminescent signs, often referred to as “glow-in-the-dark” signs, absorb and store energy from normal ambient light, then release this energy in the form of a visible glow when the lights go out. Photoluminescent products automatically recharge once the lights are turned on, requiring approximately 60 minutes of exposure to 5 foot-candles or 54 LUX of natural light‡, fluorescent, metal halide or mercury vapor light. [ ‡A 100W incandescent bulb produces about 1750 lumens or 137 foot-candles. A 23 watt fluorescent light produces about 1600 lumens or 125 foot-candles. ]
In the event of a power failure UL 924 listed photoluminescent exit signs are immediately visible from a distance of 50 to 75 feet. Current photoluminescent materials have a much longer and brighter glow compared to old materials, helping to speed evacuation during a lights-out emergency.
This failsafe technology works without electricity. Photoluminescent exit signs are completely power free, requiring no electricity (AC) or batter power to operate. Since no electrical connection is required, installation is very easy. Plus, with no power consumption, no electronics, no batteries to replace and no bulbs to burn out or break, these signs provide zero operational or maintenance costs over the lifetime of the product. Industrial-grade photoluminescent tapes and signs are designed to withstand normal wear and tear, making them a reliable solution that is “always ready” in an emergency.
A Proven Solution
Shortly after the tragic events of September 11th, the National Institute of Standards and Technology conducted an investigation into the evacuation process at the World Trade Center. According to the investigation, existing photoluminescent markings in the stairwells was one of the most commonly reported forms of aid in evacuating the buildings. As a result, the city of New York passed Local Law 26, requiring the installation of photoluminescent exit signs and floor level exit pathway markings in all commercial high rise buildings over 75 feet tall. Residential, hospital, hotel and educational buildings are installing photoluminescent exit signs and egress markings on a voluntary basis.
We recommend photoluminescent fixtures and markings as a reliable, energy efficient and cost effective solution to prepare for a lights-out emergency in your facility.
Self-luminous EXIT signs containing the radioactive gas tritium are widely used in a variety of facilities across the United States, such as public and private office buildings, theaters, stores, schools and churches – anywhere the public needs a rapid exit path. Those who possess tritium EXIT signs are general licensees of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission or an Agreement State, and are subject to certain reporting and handling requirements, including proper disposal of unwanted or unused signs. Tritium EXIT signs pose little or no threat to public health and safety and do not constitute a security risk.” — United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Fact Sheet on Tritium EXIT signs
Are Tritium Exit Signs bright enough?
While tritium lamps are not visible when normal lighting is on in a building, the UL 924 required contrast ration of the face color makes the exit sign very visible when the normal lighting is off. In fact, the brightness of a Tritium Exit sign is over double the minimum requirement set by UL 924.
Are Tritium Exit Signs UL 924 approved?
Yes, all tritium exit signs sold by The Exit Light Company have a UL 924 listing for exit signs.
Which types of installations are ideal for Tritium Exit Signs?
Tritium is a perfect choice when: there is not enough ambient light to charge a photoluminescent sign; there is no electrical power supply to the location; environments where electricity could ignite particles in the environment; where zero power consumption and no maintenance cost is desired.