Exit signs – they are in most buildings. You have probably seen a few of them today already. They are a part of everyday life, and yet they often get overlooked.
But the importance of exit signs can't be overstated, especially if you are a building owner. Their placement helps shape your building's egress system, ensuring the safety of tenants if the worst situations should occur.
We commonly think of exit signs that are positioned in high positions, such as over the head above most people's height. This makes sense in many situations, because most people will see it.
However, did you know there are also many reasons to install low location exit signs? There are many reasons companies install exit signs with floor proximity, which can make exit pathways more robust and safer.
Exit Signs with Floor Proximity
The whole purpose of exit signage is for the safety of everyone inside. Without it, certain situations, especially emergency ones that can induce panic, could prove fatal.
There is a chance low level exit signs are required for your building. But even if they are not technically required, there are many reasons to give them consideration.
The good news is that with new technology, installing low level exit signs is easier and more efficient than ever. They are not only good for safety, but also for reducing energy consumption.
Read on to learn more about the benefits of incorporating low level exit signage into your egress system.
Sometimes They Are Required
There are certain classifications of buildings that require you to have low-level exit signs. Some of these include hotels, motels, hostels, hospice care and long-term care facilities, and more.
In buildings such as these, low level signs have been determined necessary. This is due to the transient nature of these buildings use, as well as often-delayed response to emergency situations.
Specifically, occupancies designated as Group R-1 by the IBC (International Building Code) must have low-level signs in all areas serving guest rooms. This puts them in compliance with Section 1013.2.
Prior to 2018, the requirement for placement of low-level signs was between 10-12 inches above floor level. In 2018, the IBC changed this to be between 10-18 inches, giving facilities more flexibility in placing these signs. Meanwhile, the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) permits the bottom of low-level exit signs to be between 6-18 inches above floor level. This means both safety standards permit up to 18 inches above floor level.
In other words, if your building has transitory uses and classifies as Group R-1, low-level signage is a legal requirement.
Good for Safety and Certain Demographics
Even if your building is not officially designated as Group R-1 and not legally obligated to have low-level signs, this does not mean they are not a good idea.
For certain demographics of people, low-level signage increases visibility through exit pathways, ensuring their safety. These can include the disabled population, children, and people who are below average height. For these groups of people, low location exit signs are more easily seen in daily situations. You should consider this if you run a business that accommodates all kinds of customers.
More than just accommodating certain people, it's also an important safety consideration for everybody. Besides being more visible to these demographic, low-level signs are especially important in emergency situations, such as fires. When a fire spreads in a building, smoke typically makes it necessary for all those inside to crawl on the ground in order to avoid the poisonous air. Unfortunately, this also means exit signs placed higher up that could lead people to safety get occluded from view, potentially making a bad situation even more tragic. Exit signs with proximity to the floor help everybody reach safety when they are in a smoke-filled environment.
Naturally, this is also very useful for firefighters, who must risk their lives entering burning buildings and bringing others to safety. Low-level signs ensure that these brave men and women can not only do their job more effectively, but also protect their lives.
Which Type You Should Buy
Now that you know why having low-level egress signage is a good idea, the next question that probably crosses your mind is how much it will cost you.
Fortunately, with new technology, installing exit signs has never been easier. Self-luminous exit signs, which utilize photoluminescent technology, can be purchased, all of which have zero energy consumption and require no wiring. This is because they are able to absorb and store energy from light.
This has several benefits. With no wiring necessary, installation of these signs is super easy. On top of that, there are fewer worries regarding maintenance and functionality during emergency situations.
Purchasing Your Low Location Exit Signs
At Exit Sign Warehouse, we are here to help you get the low location exit signs you need. We sell exit signs at the best deals you can find, including the self-luminous type. Contact us today and tell what your exit sign needs are. Our skilled and friendly staff can work with you to make sure you are satisfied, and all your questions are answered.