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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.”

Fire Exit Signs to meet to Federal, State and Local fire codes

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.

Power Free, Photoluminescent “glow-in-the-dark” Exit Signs

Image of UL 924 listed photoluminescent exit signPhotoluminescent 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.

Demystifying power-free, self luminous, Tritium Exit Signs

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.

What is the real purpose behind lighted LED exit signs?

Power outages occur in businesses, educational and medical facilities across the country every day. Are you prepared for such an emergency? Many people think that the sole purpose of an exit sign is to mark stairwells and building exits. However, that is only a secondary purpose for lighted LED exit signs.

 

Image of lighted red LED exit signThe real function of lighted LED exit signs is to allow you to find the exit or emergency egress route in the event of an emergency situation. Many times a power outage can be the result of a fire in the building. In such cases, finding the emergency exits can be complicated not only by a loss of power but from the presence of smoke in emergency egress routes. Under these circumstances, lighted exits signs powered by rechargeable backup batteries can literally save lives by allowing individuals to safely exit the building.

 

Most relevant codes (fire, building, health or safety) require exit signs to be permanently lit. The use of light-emitting diode (LED) technology provides brighter illumination than incandescent lamps, resulting in better visibility in a fire situation. LED exit signs also consume much less energy than traditional incandescent models, typically requiring about 4 watts of power to operate. This results in significant cost savings over the life span of the fixture, especially considering that LEDs have a very long life and may last for 10 or more years of continuous use.

Featured Fire Safety Products Part Three – Fire Extinguishers

The Exit Light Company offers a complete selection of fire extinguishers designed to meet the specific requirements of many different locations and types of potential fires. Properly installed and maintained, fire extinguishers help you stop small fires before they become a problem. When choosing a fire extinguisher, bigger is better. Larger fire extinguishers last longer, giving you more time to fight the fire and get to safety.

 

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The KD-PRO-25MP-ASB fire extinguisher is sold in cases of 6. Suitable for use on Class A (trash, wood & paper) Class B (liquids & gases) and Class C fires (energized electrical equipment), this unit is fitted with a pressure gauge that provides at-a-glance status. It is manufactured from lightweight aluminum cylinder & sturdy aluminum valve assembly and comes with metal retention bracket. A clear instruction label using graphics and easy-to-pull safety pin ensures that anyone can use this product under pressure.

Featured Fire Safety Products Part Two – Carbon Monoxide Detectors

The Exit Light Company offers a complete selection of carbon monoxide detectors (alarms) designed to meet the specific requirements of different locations and potential dangers. The leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in North America, Carbon Monoxide (CO) is odorless, tasteless and invisible – a silent killer. The only safe way to know if carbon monoxide is present is to install carbon monoxide detectors (alarms) on every level of your home and in sleeping areas.

 
carbon-monoxide-detector-alarm-AC-powered-900-0235The KN-COB-DP-LS is a great fixture for customers wanting to increase their protection without the cost of installation. The Nighthawk 900-0235 AC Powered, Plug-In carbon monoxide alarm with battery backup is an easy to install unit that provides reliable protection against the dangers of carbon monoxide. Written information and instruction make this unit’s operation easy to understand for anyone. The Nighthawk AC/DC Basic alarm has a small, sleek design that is suitable for all living areas and has a 7-year limited warranty. The Nighthawk 900-0235 provides you and your family with a loud warning signal against the dangers of elevated carbon monoxide levels in your home. The battery backup feature provides continuous monitoring of CO levels, even during power outages when AC-only units are not providing protection. The Nighthawk CO alarm has a 7-year product life, providing 40% longer protection than other CO alarms. Click here to see all available carbon monoxide detectors including smoke alarm/carbon monoxide combination units.

Featured Fire Safety Products Part One – Smoke Alarms

The Exit Light Company offers a complete selection of smoke detectors / alarms designed to meet the specific requirements of areas of the home and types of fires. Properly installed and maintained, residential smoke alarms are one of the best and least expensive ways to provide an early warning when a fire begins. Smoke alarms save lives, prevent injuries and minimize property damage by alerting residents early to a fire hazard. Both residential and commercial customers will find a variety of units for their applications.

 

smoke-detector-dc- wireless-ul-listed-0919-9999All customers would benefit from the KD-RF-SM-DC. These units can be quickly installed to an interconnected smoke alarm system without the mess of rewiring or cost of labor. This battery-powered, UL Listed alarm links with other alarms and components to create a customized, advanced fire protection system. It even can be placed in a detached workshop or shed and linked into the system. Interconnected alarms provide early warning against fire by adding additional coverage throughout your home, dramatically increasing your ability to hear an alarm anywhere, regardless of where the fire starts. When one alarm sounds they all do! Newer homes are required by code to have interconnected alarms. Wireless technology enables any home to have an interconnected system, keeping its occupants safe.