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Emergency Lighting and UL 924 – What do you need to know?

Understanding the UL 924 standards

While shopping for emergency lighting fixtures or exit signs, you have probably seen that many products come with a label or description that says “UL 924 listed”. In this post, we’re going to briefly discuss what UL 924 means, what the UL 924 requirements are, and why Emergency Exit Signs and Lights with this certification are encouraged. 

What does UL 924 mean?

The Underwriters Laboratory (UL) is an independent testing organization established in 1894 that provides testing and safety certifications for all types of products, components and materials. UL 924 is the Underwriters Laboratory “Standard for Safety of Emergency Lighting and Power Equipment.”

When you see “UL 924 Listed” or “UL Listed”, this means that a product and all of its components have been tested and reviewed by the Underwriters Laboratory, and has been certified to meet or exceed specific safety and fire hazard codes required for all commercial properties in the United States.*

What are the UL 924 requirements?

For emergency lighting to be considered UL 924 compliant, the light fixture must provide illumination for at least 90 minutes in the event of power failure due to an emergency or other situation. This is the time estimated to be long enough for the occupants of a building to safely evacuate in the event of a disaster, especially without any injury that could potentially make evacuation more challenging. In order for the emergency light to remain lit for at least 90 minutes, it must be connected to an internally hardwired backup battery.

In addition to that, it has been determined that the emergency lighting fixture should provide immediate and sufficient illumination in the event that there is a power outage.

Emergency exit signs also come under a similar set of regulations when it comes to UL 924 compliance standards. The hardwired battery backup systems inside exit signs, which provide illumination during power outages, also must provide at least 90 minutes emergency operation. Exit signs and combo units can also be directly connected to the building’s backup power supply. Underwriters Laboratory allows for the color of an emergency exit sign’s letters to either be green or red, and the letters will need to be at least six inches tall, with a letter thickness that measures ¾ of an inch. It should also have 3/8 of an inch in space between its letters. 

The UL Listed Logo, when found inside an Emergency Light Fixture or Exit Sign, means that the unit meets UL 924 standards.

In addition to all of this, the signs need to have at least 0.06 feet per lamberts in luminance, as well as the ability to be seen from at least 100 feet away. While there are some anomalies to the viewing distance rule, this will only be allowed if the emergency exit sign is marked with what the actual viewing distance is.

Why should you purchase UL 924 listed fixtures?

In short, peace of mind. The UL 924 label means that your life safety product is code compliant nationwide*, and has been thoroughly tested for reliability and performance.

*Except in certain jurisdictions, e.g., New York City and City of Chicago.

A switch to led lighting met amazing results in one Indian Factory

This week in an “All Things Considered” story from NPR, we learned a good lesson in Energy Efficiency from a factory in India that switched its clothing factory from fluorescent light tubes to energy efficient LED lights. Generally, factories in India don’t have fans, Air Conditioning none the less. When a company representative visiting the factory realized the hot temperature that thousands of workers had to endure, he knew something had to change. The whole factory removed its fluorescent lighting, and replaced the factory with LEDs. What was the expectation of switching to LED lighting? The Company Representative stated : “Look, if you’re consuming a seventh of the energy, you’re probably dissipating something like a seventh of the heat as well.” It was expected that a swith to LED lighting would reduce the temperature inside the factory. What results did this experiment result in?

Switching to LEDs did indeed prove to reduce the factories temperature. The evidence shows that a switch to LED lighting reduced the temperature of the factory by over 4 degrees. This switch resulted in a boost in profits due to increased productivity, covering the cost of replacing the fluorescent lighting fixtures in just eight months. Continue reading “A switch to led lighting met amazing results in one Indian Factory” »

Ladder Safety

It’s a great day at The Exit Light Company, and we’re happy to present our weekly safety meeting topic – Ladder Safety. At one point or another, your employees will use a ladder of some kind. Whether it is a small step ladder or 12 foot long straight ladder, safety is a concern, and prevention through awareness the best way to address it.
For this meeting, it is beneficial to have a volunteer to show the proper way to climb a ladder. Before you get your volunteer and have them climb, make sure to check that your ladder is in good condition. There should be no broken, cracked or missing rails and they should be free of slippery substances on the rungs. Your demonstration should have your volunteer set up the ladder on solid footing, against a solid support. The base of the ladder should be about 12” out from the wall for every 4 feet of height.
Make sure your volunteer doesn’t have any oil, grease or mud on their shoes and have them climb the ladder slowly, facing it and using both hands. If tools need to be carried to the top, using a toolbelt will allow the employee to climb the ladder without needing to compromise the grip of the ladder. Have them climb back down the same way.
While reaching at the top of a ladder, do not allow sideways movement. If the desired object cannot be reached, climb down and move the ladder over. The ladder should be used by one person at a time, additional people on the same ladder may alter the balance and cause a fall.
Through your demonstration, employees should now have a much better understanding of how to properly use a ladder – and don’t forget – While on a ladder, never step back to admire your work!

Working Safely Around Electricity

This week’s installment of Topics for Safety Meetings addresses working safely around electricity. Although installation of exit signs and emergency lighting is nothing new to the certified electrician, many business owners choose to install units themselves or have maintenance workers perform the job. Safety when working with electricity extends to the average employee dealing with office equipment or even appliances in the breakroom.
First and foremost for anyone dealing directly with an electrical connection – shut the power off to the circuit you will be using! Standard voltage in the United States is 120 or 277 volts, which could produce an affect anywhere from a tingling sensation to fatal electrocution depending on the conditions of contact. Once the power is removed, use a tester to make sure the power is actually off to the location you are working in. Use the correct tools; for instance, use wire strippers when needed instead of a pocket knife or razor blade to minimize the risk of injury.
General safety measures when around or using electrical equipment include:
– Reading and following any instructions included with equipment
– Do not force a plug into an outlet that does not match the slot configuration
– Do not touch electrical equipment, plugs, outlets or switches with wet hands
– Grip the plug to remove equipment from an outlet instead of pulling the cord
– Although equipment may be “off” electricity is still present. Unplug before cleaning, fixing or inspecting unit and when not in use
– Do not touch equipment with possibly compromised circuitry (indicators include flickering lights, sparks coming from unit, buzzing noises)
Leave your meeting with a reminder – Accidents Hurt, Safety Doesn’t. Remember to bookmark this page or subscribe to our blog to receive next week’s topic for safety meetings.