During an emergency, do your occupants know where to go? An employee who works in only in a single designated area of a building or a visitor who just happens to be in your building when an emergency arises may have no idea where to go, whereas a Facility Manager who knows the ins and outs of the facility is more likely to know where all the exits are located. Ensure safety while eliminating yourself from liability by ensuring your emergency signage is updated, code-compliant, and precise.

Is Your Building Code-Compliant?

In an emergency situation, someone unacquainted with your facility will likely look for the familiar lit exit sign first. In governing life safety, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA 101)’s agreement rules that either an internally illuminated sign wired into your emergency power source or a sign that’s either electroluminescent or self-luminous. The NFPA 101 code entails a minimum level of visibility and illumination.

In addition, NFPA 101 requires identifying doors, passages, and stairways with “No Exit signs” that are typically confused for exits that fail to offer outside access.

It’s extremely mandatory to make sure additional signage complies with ADA requirements, consisting of raised characters and braille, non-glare finish and high contract for visual characters and pictograms, and international symbols specifying any additional accommodations. Tactile characters on signs have special requirements such as being placed 48 inches off the floor and being posted alongside doors on the latch side. These guidelines guarantee individuals with vision disabilities are able to find tangible signage.

Facilities that have an AED, must have signage indicating they do. Also although not all facilities have hazardous chemicals, they must comply with regulatory requirements by having signage indicating places such as where chemicals are stored. Restricted spaces also have separate signage requirements per OSHA, including laws indicating where to find oxygen and other compressed gas types of importance to staff, firefights, and other emergency personnel.

Wall-mounted evacuation plans can be replaced by paper versions that can service as mini-maps, in case of an emergency. It’s important to always have a wall-mounted map at all times. The map is to include locations of AED devices, other emergency-related devices, exits, and various pathways to those exits.

Strengthen Legibility

Emergency signage must be legible by everyone who sees it – from staff to patients, visitors, students, customers, clients and other people who may be in your building after hours.