Tritium Exit Sign Alternatives

While shopping for tritium exit signs, you may have noticed the extended lead times associated with receipt of the product. Because of the rules and regulations related to the production of tritium exit signs, along with the limitations of a single operating supplier, lead time is averaging 12-24 weeks. If you are unable to wait this length of time to receive your signs, there may be an alternative for you.

 

If you are able to run power to a unit, a traditional hard wired LED exit sign is the most cost-effective option. If you are not able the run power to the location of the exit sign, you may be able to use a photoluminescent exit sign. The following chart will help you determine if you are able to use this type of sign instead of tritium: Tritium Fact Sheet.

 

If you’ve determined that a tritium exit sign is still your best option, get your order in as soon as possible!

Positive Shopping Experience at The Exit Light Company Recognized Via Inclusion in Google Trusted Stores Program

The Exit Light Company, a provider of quality and economical exit signs and emergency lighting products, has been awarded a Google Trusted Stores badge. The Google Trusted Stores program helps shoppers buy online with confidence. It is only awarded to stores with a proven track record of reliable, on-time shipping and excellent customer service. When customers see the Google Trusted Store badge on e-commerce websites, they know they’re buying from a store that provides a consistently excellent shopping experience.

 

By moving their mouse over the badge, customers are shown detailed information regarding the store’s shipping and customer service. Currently, The Exit Light Company has an “A” rating for both Reliable Shipping and Excellent Service. After monitoring thousands of transactions, Google can report that our orders have 96% on-time shipping with a one day average to ship the order after receipt.

 

The ultimate goal of The Exit Light Company is and always will be customer satisfaction. Past recognition, loyal customers and now inclusion in the Google Trusted Stores program further confirms that this goal is being met and exceeded.

Surviving a Nightclub Fire

As the recent tragedy at the Kiss Nightclub in Santa Maria, Brazil demonstrates, public fire safety continues to remain a serious problem. Any time you mix large crowds of semi-intoxicated people with low levels of lighting, minimal exits, and add smoke and fire, the result is always tragic.

 

In North America there have been several notable nightclub fires:

*Learn more about historical fires in the United States in our State by State Fire FAQs.

After fire analysis has repeatedly noted the importance of well-lit and uncluttered exit pathways, and show that the majority of deaths are usually due to smoke inhalation or trampling. Victims could have survived if they had been able to quickly and safely exit the structure.

 

The Exit Light Company reminds everyone that the sole purpose for the products that we sell (exit signs and emergency lights) is to save lives, not property. Here are some helpful tips for both patrons and business owners:

 

If you are a Patron:

  • Use common sense, don’t patronize businesses in buildings that do not look safe. Some warning signs are that the building does not have a sprinkler system, exit signs or emergency lights are broken and non-functional, or if you see that most of the exit doors are blocked or even locked (chained shut)
  • Be aware of the location of at least two exits at all times (the first being the one that you entered through)
  • Never drink so much that you will not be able to react to an emergency situation
  • If you are caught up in a crowd, it doesn’t matter if you are large and strong, try to get to a wall or to the edge of the crowd. Many deaths are dues to trample injuries
  • Try to stay low, to minimize smoke inhalation
  • If possible, cover your nose and mouth with a cloth. Use your shirt, jacket, or a napkin, if available. If you can, wet the cloth with water. Never use alcohol to wet the cloth, as alcohol is highly flammable
  • Don’t worry about your stuff (purse, backpack, etc.). It’s replaceable, you’re not
  • If you are in a group, agree on an assembly point, somewhere you can all get to safely, then don’t worry too much about keeping together
  • Move safely, and try not to trample/push others, but leave as quickly as possible
  • Stay as calm as possible, and do not give in to panic. This is easier said than done, but panicking will not help you survive

If you are a Business Owner/Facilities Manager:

  • Keep exits and exit paths clear of clutter
  • ALL doors should open outwards so that the crush of a crowd can not pin the doors closed
  • Install and maintain exit signs and exit pathway markings so that the direction of egress is readily apparent
  • Install and maintain emergency lighting so that in the event of loss of power, there will be visibility
  • Keep all emergency equipment (including exit doors) in good working order and test them regularly

*Find out more about maintenance & testing in our helpful FAQs.

Unfortunately, the Kiss Nightclub Fire will not be the last club fire, but if we all keep in mind the above safety tips, we can make sure that we do not contribute to another tragic event or do not end up as another sad statistic.

Exit Sign Mounting Configurations Explained

When deciding what type of exit signs or emergency lights to purchase, mounting configuration can play a very important role. To those not familiar with mounting configurations, the terminology can be very confusing. The following photos will help you not only to understand what each term means, but will clarify which mounting configuration is best for your installation.

 

Flush Mount / Wall Mount:

 


 
Does not involve the use of mounting canopy.  Units typically have knock-out pattern on back plate to mount directly to junction box. (May also allow for “Ceiling Mount” in emergency light fixtures only.)

 

Ceiling Mount:

 


 
Typically requires use of mounting canopy from top of fixture. Some units may further specify Drop Ceiling/New Construction or Sheet Rock/Remodel applications. Use of ceiling mount for exit signage may require double face. (May also allow for “Wall Mount” in emergency light fixtures only.)

 

Side Mount:

 


 
Sometimes confused with “Wall Mount”, side mounting typically requires use of a mounting canopy. Canopy is affixed to the side of the unit and then attached to wall. Use of side mount for exit signage may require double face.

 

Wall Mount Angle Down:

 


 
Special mounting configuration mostly limited to edge lit exit signage. May require mounting canopy affixed to the top of the unit and then attached to wall. Edge lit face then rotates down. In recessed applications, the face itself may be curved down.

 

Recessed Mount:

 


 
Commonly used for ceiling mount units in which housing is actually located above the ceiling. Some units may further specify Drop Ceiling/New Construction or Sheet Rock/Remodel applications.

 

Pendant Mount:

 


 
This configuration requires the use of a pendant kit (which may be an optional add-on). Allows ceiling mountable units to be suspended from a high or sloped ceiling to be more visible.

 

Note that not all installation configurations may be available for every sign, help is available via on-line chat, phone (877-352-3948) or email (orders@exitlightco.com) from 5am-5pm PST if you have additional questions or require assistance.

Continuously Improving the Shopping Experience

The Exit Light Company strives to provide accurate and useful information to our customers and make the online shopping experience a seamless one. As part of a site redesign rollout in June 2012, our product pages were updated to be more user friendly. We have had fantastic feedback with these changes and would like to draw your attention to one of the more recent additions.

 

Battery IncludedOne question regularly asked of our Customer Service Team is: Does this unit include a battery? We’ve now provided an easy way to find the answer to this question with each product on our website displaying our “Battery Included” symbol.

 

The Battery Included symbol will appear on the Features tab of the product page, along with a variety of other symbols representing certifications and other attributes that apply for that product. If this symbol does not appear, the battery is not included (but may be available as an option for that particular product). Don’t forget to check out the Description and Technical Features tabs for additional information on the product. As always, help is available via on-line chat, phone (877-352-3948) or email (orders@exitlightco.com) from 5am-5pm PST if you have additional questions or require assistance in placing an order!

Historical Influences on Emergency Requirements

Tragedies such as the Bangladesh Clothing Factory Fire earlier this week highlight the need for emergency preparedness, including proper exit signage and emergency egress lighting. Unfortunately, a number of similar tragedies have shaped the laws and requirements throughout the United States:

 

 
  • On February 2, 1860 the six-story Elm Street Tenement in New York City caught fire killing 20. This fire along with a similar earlier fire led to a state law, the first in the nation, requiring fire escapes on all buildings over 6 stories, and multiple exits in new buildings.
  • On January 13, 1908, fire during a stage play at the Rhoads Opera House in Boyertown, Pennsylvania killed 171, one-tenth of the town’s population. As a result of the disaster, Pennsylvania’s first fire law was enacted in 1909.
  • On March 29, 1953, the Littlefield’s Nursing Home Fire in Largo, Florida claimed 33 lives. The fire shocked the community and led to statewide nursing home reforms.
 

Read about other historical events that shaped fire code requirements in your own state (as well as current code requirements) using our Fire Code Map.

What Makes Exit and Emergency Lighting “Green”?

The push to “Go Green” has been gaining steam in the past decade. From small businesses trying to save money on their electric bill to multi-billion dollar corporations needing to meet certain requirements to be labeled “eco-friendly” or “green”, everyone is buying in to the trend. Many power and utility companies offer rebate programs or other incentives for replacing inefficient lighting. No matter the circumstances, there are many benefits to doing so.


This “green” movement has also made its way into exit and emergency lighting. We are often asked for exit signs or emergency lights that carry an ENERGY STAR® rating. You may have noticed that none of our exit or emergency lighting products have the ENERGY STAR certification listed. Why?


The US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) suspended the ENERGY STAR rating for exit signs on May 1, 2008. This was due to new federal standards approved by Congress for exit sign efficiency for units manufactured after January 1, 2006. The EPAct 2005 references the ENERGY STAR version 2.0 specification. In short, all exit lighting produced after this date must have an input power demand of 5 watts or less, thus ending the need for an ENERGY STAR rating in this category.


These requirements have been met by using new energy-efficient lighting sources, most popular being Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs). LEDs have become the main component in exit sign illumination and in recent years have also started replacing incandescent bulbs for emergency lighting needs. You can further research the differences in lighting technologies on our FAQs page. Because of these changes, battery technology has also improved dramatically. Due to lessened power needs, smaller and more reliable Nickel Cadium (NiCad) and Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries have replaced the bulky, less so Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) types. The size and weights of exit and emergency lighting units have decreased tremendously because of this, while still providing equal or, in most cases, increased performance and reliability. Other energy efficient lighting types include fluorescent, photoluminescent, radioluminescent and electroluminescent light sources.


While efficient in power usage, these improvements in lighting technology also lower maintenance costs. LEDs have a lifetime of 25+ years and NiCad batteries hold an approximate lifespan of 5 years under appropriate conditions. Although ensuring that your units are working properly with monthly, quarterly and yearly testing is still recommended (and required in some areas), the amount of time spent replacing batteries and bulbs is significantly reduced. Stay in touch for next weeks blog regarding testing recommendations!

Power Outage at Home – Are You Prepared?

Many of us have been in a situation when the power goes out at home. Sometimes this happens during daylight hours, but it can also happen at night. In most cases power is restored within an hour or two, but in extreme cases the outage may last for several hours or even days. This can be due to storm damage (such as the extended power outages in the Washington, D.C. area recently), rolling blackouts (in place in several states throughout the U.S.) or even massive power grid failures (such as the recent failure of the SDG&E grid last year). In public areas and workplaces, laws require emergency preparedness for the safety of the public, but are you prepared at home?


EL-3N1According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s disaster preparedness website ( www.ready.gov ), the following items should be a part of your basic disaster supplies kit: water, food, radio, first aid kit, whistle, dust mask, wipes, wrench, can opener, local maps, cell phones and chargers, AND flashlights. The last item is useful for emergency lighting, which you may not consider in a residential environment. If you have a disaster supply kit, these items will be easy to locate, but what if you don’t? Our selection of residential emergency lighting may be just what you need!


The most versatile of our residential emergency lighting is the EL-3N1 (pictured at right). This light plugs into a standard outlet to operate as a night light. During a power failure, it automatically goes into emergency mode and can remain lit for up to 8 continuous hours or 100 continuous hours if set to “Power Saving Mode.” This unit can also be removed from the outlet and operated as a flashlight. Its flat bottom and side make it easy to stand or lay on a flat surface for convenience. You can also put this fully charged light into storage or a kit for up to 2 months and still be able to use it. Besides being a great option for your disaster supplies kit, it is also a great to keep in your car, boat or RV for camping, biking, hiking or even night-time fishing!


For further options on residential emergency lighting, including options for nursing homes, you can review our full selection here. You may also contact our customer service department at 877-352-3948 for assistance.


How to Buy an Exit Sign

Confused? We’ve Got You Covered!

 

Our customers’ needs come in all shapes and sizes. Some are replacing an old exit sign, some are putting up fire exit signs where none existed before and some still haven’t finished construction on the building! No matter what situation brought you here, it can be overwhelming to sort through the selection of exit signs available.

 

First things first: Have you consulted your local building inspector or fire marshal? Even if you’ve never been inspected before, conforming with local building and fire codes is mandatory. Therefore understanding local building and fire codes will prove to be invaluable. Check out our Fire Exit Codes & Regulations section. Consider the following questions:

 

Are there any color or materials requirements my exit signs have to meet?

Certain locales require that exit signs have red lettering, others require green lettering, others allow either but may require consistency within a facility (all green or all red). Some locales require that exit signs be enclosed in steel enclosures, other allow fire-retardant plastic, etc. The City of Chicago require steel exit signs with a glass face. The New York City requires that exit signs have 8” red lettering and be enclosed in durable steel housing. Make sure you are not subject to some of these very limiting requirements.

How many and/or in what areas are exit signs required?

General requirements state that any exit be marked accordingly, but some codes require marking of the “route” to get to the exit as well.

Is there a particular certification my signs need to carry?

The most widely used certification agency in the United States is Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL), but some areas require ETL SEMKO certification or other certifications that are more specific. Canada requires a certification from the Canadian Standards Association (CSA).

Are there certain types of units that are prohibited?

Some codes require that your units be hardwired (eliminating power-free choices) or a certain color/material (see question 1).

Once you have gathered the above information from your local authority, it is time for you to make some decisions of your own:

 

Do I have a particular look in mind?

Your local codes may not require it, but perhaps a brushed cast-aluminum sign with lettering fits best with your décor. Maybe you’ve seen an edge lit sign in your favorite store and liked the look, it’s up to you!

Do I have size constraints and/or how do I plan to mount my units?

This question alone may limit your selection to only a few items. Remember that certain mounting configurations may require the use of a mounting canopy that adds 1-2” to the height or width of your sign.
 
This question also encompasses limitations such as a sheet rock, drop or low ceiling.

Will these units be subject to abuse or hazardous environments?

In areas such as schools, gyms, warehouses and parking structures, exits signs may be subject to vandalism, damage from sports equipment and other types of situations which would limit your selection to heavy duty construction or protection such as a wire guard.
 
If installing in areas where the units will be exposed to chemicals, abrasive substances or other hazardous materials, your selection should be limited to units “rated” or qualified for installation in these environments.

By now you will have gathered enough information to narrow your choices to maybe even just one unit! If you are having trouble navigating our site – feel free to contact one of our award winning customer service professionals via phone, email or live chat with your requirements and we will be happy to assist you.

Exit Light Company Recognized In “Second 500 Largest E-Retailers”

The Exit Light Company is proud to announce its inclusion in Internet Retailer’s Second 500 Largest E-Retailers July 2011 issue. The ranking is based on growth, size, category and sales of e-retailers nationwide.

 

Jeannette Carrico, Exit Light Company CEO, said “We could not have achieved this honor without our loyal customer base and excellent staff. We strive to provide exceptional products and customer service support, which in turn allows our business to continue to grow.”