Light a Path – The Importance of Egress Safety For Your Customers and Employees
We live in a world where random events can cause disruptions to businesses and put the health and livelihood of your business at risk. Threats range from earthquakes to hurricanes to terrorist attacks. Wild fires can hit some areas, tornadoes others – no matter how safe your building is, you need to prepare for the worst, and that means preparing for an evacuation.
Evacuations involving your employees can be rehearsed; you can do drills to get everyone out of the building, you can train your supervisors to do role calls for their subordinates, and have a prepared exit strategy in that only works for your employees. For buildings with a high public access, you may have large numbers of people who can’t be relied upon to have a rehearsed exit plan. For those people, your responsibility as a building owner lies in making sure that egress safety – the way out of the building in case of an emergency, is well lit and documented.
One of the tools you can use for this need is photoluminescent emergency signs. Building codes require that you have self illuminating signs that meet minimum standards of brightness (about 6 LUX) to be clearly visible and readable in case of an emergency. Where prior technology used tritium tubes (which engender disposal hazards due to their radioactivity) or battery backup electrical lamps (with their attendant power costs and maintenance checks), the best technology to meet this need at the current time is photoluminescence.
If you ever had a glow in the dark toy that needed to be put in bright light before it glowed, you’ve seen photoluminescence in action. What’s changed is that new breakthroughs in materials science have improved the amount of time it takes to ‘light up’ one of these devices by exposure to ambient light and have made backings behind the material that make them much brighter.
These new materials are considered fail safe, and are ideal for replacing individual lights, or for part of an overall strategy for getting your new construction up to code. They are building code certified (with most major certifications met), easy to install, and flexible. They are the epitome of low maintenance as well as affordable.
These photoluminescent emergency signs are available in English, Spanish and international symbols. They can also be used to assist the elderly and handicapped, by being placed lower down and with tactile elements as well. Because of their reliability, they’re being used in new and innovative ways to build an overall exit strategy for a building.