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Exit signs and emergency lighting are vital to any commercial or industrial building. In the event of an emergency, workers, and staff need to know where to go in a timely manner in order to get out of the building safely.
A crucial part of having the right exit signs is knowing where to put them. As it turns out, there are very specific places where your building should have emergency lighting and exit signs.
Why Exit Signs and Emergency Lighting are Essential
Before we can learn about where those exit signs should go, it helps to know why they are so essential. For any commercial, healthcare, or industrial setting, those exit signs tell everyone where to go and how to exit the building in the most timely manner.
For places like hospitals, having those exit signs in the right place can literally mean the difference between life and death. Don’t just assume that exit signs can go anywhere because it can lead to confusion and major delays. When there is a fire or another emergency, delays are something that cannot be afforded.
Where to Install Exit Signs
When it comes to installing exit signs, having the right location is critical. But where do you have those exit signs that make them the most effective? There are a few things worth keeping in mind.
For starters, each door that exits into a hallway that leads to the primary exit should be clearly and noticeably marked as an “exit” sign. Those exit signs must be lit up at all times and have some form of battery backup in the event of a power outage. Signs must have plain, legible lettering and a distinctive color that won’t blend in with its background.
Any exit route doors must be free of decorations, obstructions, or any type of equipment that will either block the exit or the exit sign. Any additional exit signs must have directional indicators installed in order to show where the nearest exit is located.
Finally, should there not be an obvious direction toward the exit, signs need to be installed. Doors that could be easily mistaken as an exit should be properly labeled (“No Exit” or “Not an Exit” are the best kind of signs for these situations).
Where to Install Emergency Lighting
The other essential for proper emergency situations and exit postings is emergency lighting. When planning out an emergency exit strategy, emergency lighting should most definitely be part of the equation.
Know that any building type – mostly educational, religious, institutional, industrial, medical, and commercial, will require some type of emergency lighting. Exit routes in the building should be properly illuminated through the use of emergency lighting to allow everyone with normal vision to see the path.
Storage areas, bathrooms, and internal rooms that are larger than a broom closet and have no windows will require lighting since there is no external source of lighting. Emergency lighting fixtures should be properly spaced in order to prevent excessively dark or light spots that could restrict the ability to read exit signs.
Some allowances can be made for large windows that provide consistent natural light. Also, keep in mind that any emergency lighting should be aimed in a way that it will properly illuminate the walkway. Any bulbs that are pointed toward the ceiling or wall won’t usually meet code requirements even if the lighting is installed in the proper place. Lighting and exit signs go hand-in-hand when it comes to safe evacuation. Make sure that all emergency lighting is up to code in order to prevent potential issues.