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.)

Wall Mount Exit Sign

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.)

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Alternatives to hard-wired Exit Signs. Tritium Exit Signs VS Photoluminescent Exit Sign?

Non-Electric Exit Signs have increased in popularity over recent years because of their energy efficiency, ease of installation and decreased costs.  An exit sign that does not require electricity to operate is clearly the most energy-efficient.  Compared to Hard-Wired Exit Signs, Non-Electric Exit Signs don’t connect to a building’s power supply, which results in a faster & cheaper installation, while additionally reducing long term costs of power consumption and maintenance.

What Non-Electric Exit Sign is better?  Let’s briefly discuss the difference between Tritium and Photoluminescent Signs and then weight the Pros and Cons. 

Photoluminescent Exit Signs

Photoluminescent (power free) exit signs require no electricity (AC) or battery power to work. They are illuminated via photoluminescence (“glow-in-the-dark”). Since no AC connection is required, installation is incredibly simple and does not require access to conduit, an outlet, or the services of an electrician (minimal installation costs). Since no power is consumed, there is zero lifetime power consumption cost! Since there are no electronics or batteries, these signs also enjoy zero maintenance costs!

Photoluminescent Exit Signs
Photoluminescent Exit Signs glow

Photoluminescent tape and emergency egress signs absorb and store energy from ambient light (requires 54 LUX -5-ft candles- of fluorescent, LED, metal halide or mercury vapor light to charge material for 60 minutes). In the event of an emergency involving blackout or smoke-laden conditions, the photoluminescent product is immediately visible, providing a safe, illuminated evacuation path. Photoluminescent products can be installed easily in any location with sufficient ambient light source. We carry a variety of photoluminescent exit signs to meet your specific needs.

Photoluminescent Exit Signs last for approximately 25 years with minimal maintenance.

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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.

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.

Prepare your Exit and Emergency Lights

Can you believe another year is almost over? The year 2010 is approaching fast and we want to thank all our loyal customers for making 2009 a great year for the Exit Light Company! We want to remind you that the end of the year is a very important time for maintenance crews of shopping malls and buildings to ensure customer safety. With staggering crowds streaming to shopping centers it is critical that all safety measures are up to standard. This means testing all exit and emergency lights to ensure that they are working properly in case of an emergency.

Routine maintenance of exit and emergency lighting is frequently overlooked until an emergency occurs, which is often too late. According to the NFPA Standard No. 101, chapter 31, section 1.3.7. “A functional test shall be conducted on every required emergency lighting system at 30-day intervals for a minimum of 30 seconds. An annual test shall be conducted for the 1 1/2 hour duration. Equipment shall be fully operational for the duration of the test. Written records of visual inspections and tests shall be kept by the owner for inspection by the authority having jurisdiction.” Some of our exit signs and emergency lights have an automatic test feature that will self-test every 28 days for 5 minutes and 90 minutes every 6 months. This self-testing feature allows you to simply look up at the indicator light on the sign to see if it is still functioning properly.

If your exit and emergency lighting does not offer this feature, the Exit Light Company offers testing and repair services within California. Our certified electricians will test and repair your lights and will also provide you with written records indicating what was tested and the outcome/recommendation. We offer monthly, quarterly and annual testing service. Rely on real professionals to avoid serious liability and save money.

Our Testing Procedures for Exit and Emergency Lights include:

  • Monthly, Quarterly and/or Annual full function test
  • Disconnect AC power supply to each exit and emergency light
  • Check battery and lens for sulfation
  • Clean each exit and emergency light and lens as required
  • Adjust beam for proper alignment if needed
  • Place Testing Label on the exit and emergency light
  • Troubleshooting/Repair

Contact our service department at (877) 352-3948 to arrange for your testing service today!

April 2009 – Featured Product Showcase

image of Cast Aluminum Exit Sign with Red lettering and Black housing

The “Featured Products” area of our storefront showcases those products that we feel are exceptional because of their value, design, or quality. We recently added a product which we feel meets all three of those criteria.

 

We are pleased to offer a line of specially priced “Cast Aluminum Exit Signs” which include self-testing diagnostic capabilities and an additional brushed aluminum faceplate at a fantastic price.

 

National safety regulations require that all exit signs be tested for functionality once every twenty-eight days for five minutes and ninety minutes every six months. This testing is time-consuming and labor intensive, especially in facilities/locations with a large number of installed signs. A self testing exit sign will perform routine self-diagnostics and warn you when there is a problem. This functionality can provide a significant cost savings over the lifetime of the product.

 

The aluminum faceplates have “knock-out” left and/or right chevrons which can be removed to indicate direction of emergency egress. The second faceplate allows for double-sided installations. The “knock-out” chevrons and double faceplates allow these signs to be fully configurable for every conceivable installation type.

 

These are exceptional values and will not last for long. What’s keeping you from enjoying the architectural beauty of cast aluminum exit signs today?

 

As always, thank you for your continued support.