Emergencies such as fires will most probably result in power failures and result in partial or even total darkness in most buildings involved. This can be problematic for people evacuating and it can cause even more panic and distress.
Photoluminescent signs are self-charging signs that are used in buildings to help and guide people to evacuate in times of emergencies. It uses ambient light from fluorescent lights or LED lights from the building to charge itself and it becomes highly visible in the dark. This is very helpful when there is a total power outage because it can guide people to exit routes even in total darkness.
The advantages of using safety grade Photoluminescent Fire Safety Signs
Several codes and standards such as NFPA 170, OSHA, and the International Fire Code require the use of fire safety signs in buildings. This is to ensure the safety of every person in the building when there are emergencies such as fire, earthquake, etc. It helps lead people to the location of fire alarms, and fire equipment such as hose and extinguishers, and exit doors.
How to choose the right fire safety signs for your building
To ensure that the Fire Safety Signs in your buildings will be effective in times of emergency, You should take into consideration the right type, size, material, and strategic placement of Fire Safety Signs to help reduce casualties in emergencies.
Choosing the right size of Fire Safety Signs for your building is dependent on the maximum viewing distance intended. Safe viewing distance is important to make sure that your sign can be read even from afar to guide people on their way out of the building.
For 1-foot viewing distance, the minimum letter height for favorable reading conditions is 8 point size with 0.08 inches size. It increases with 2 points and 0.02 inches per increase in foot distance.
These are the most common types of signs that are installed parallel to the wall. This type of sign is only seen with direct sight to it, meaning it is only visible to people standing towards it.
These types of signs are installed in a flat position which is suitable for corridors and it can be easily seen by people walking from both sides of the corridor.
Panoramic signs are visible at 180° angles which is suitable to guide people to the location of fire equipment and for wider areas since it can be seen easily.
Choosing the right location
Fire Safety Signs must be strategically placed and installed in areas that are easily visible to people evacuating. You should also take into consideration the size, type, and maximum viewing distance concerning the space you wanted to place the signs.
A good place to put your Fire Safety Signs is in a high-location with an unobstructed view. This means you have to pick an empty spot where there is no other equipment blocking the view of the signs. Also, you must place it along with areas that have sufficient lighting to charge itself on normal days.
Large signs placed on high locations are meant to be easily identified even from afar and reduces the risk of being obstructed by anything or anyone. You can partner these signs with medium-sized signs at eye-level locations to provide more information such as instructions on how to use fire equipment.
Material of construction
Fire Safety Signs must be made of quality materials that are effective during emergencies. Photoluminescent material is the suggested material to ensure that your signs will save lives at times of fire and other emergencies. Photoluminescent signs are generally more expensive than non-photoluminescent ones but safety should be your primary concern when purchasing fire safety signs.
It is very important to get photoluminescent fire safety signs to ensure that proper evacuation areas are identified quickly and immediately by people in your building, as well as fire equipment instructions to effectively help the emergency crew to identify and use your equipment installed.
Many Fire Safety Signs are photoluminescent available in the market. It is important to know that they are not all made the same. Different manufacturers and photoluminescent signs will differ in luminance performances so you should inquire about the luminance performance of the signs that you are planning to buy or test it out before you make a purchase.
The first thing to consider is that the photoluminescent signs comply with the luminance requirements of Standard Test Method for Photopic Luminance of Photoluminescent (Phosphorescent) Markings, ASTM E2072, Standard Specification for Photoluminescent (Phosphorescent) Safety Markings, and ASTM E2073.
Important Fire Safety Signs to have in your building
Several signages are necessary to put in every building. They are standardized signs that are easily recognizable and understandable by most people. One thing that will help your employees or people residing in your building is to have a fire and earthquake drill to inform them and educate them of the proper way of evacuation and use of the equipment at times of emergencies.
These signs inform people of actions that are detrimental to the safety of the area. Most times it is a “No Smoking Sign” indicating that people are not allowed to smoke around the vicinity to prevent fire explosions. This type of sign is characterized by its circular shape and red color with the label “No Smoking”.
These signs give warning of potential safety risks in the area to better prepare people working there. It is characterized by its triangular shape with yellow and black color and a label “Danger Fire Risk”.
These signs inform people of the actions needed on their part to keep safety in check. These signs are characterized by their blue color and labels “Fire Door Keep Fire Shut”.
SAFE CONDITION SIGNS
These signs inform people of the location of exit routes that can be used for immediate evacuation in times of emergencies. It is characterized by its green color and rectangular shape and an image of a running man or labels like “Fire Exit”.
FIRE EQUIPMENT SIGNS
These signs inform people of the location of fire equipment in the building and are accompanied by fire equipment usage instruction. It is characterized by its red color with a symbol of a fire hose reel or a label.
These signs are used to give more information about your standard signs. It may come in different colors and images or labels to provide detailed information.