Photoluminescent Signs – IBC and IFC Compliant Signage For Commercial Buildings

Photoluminescent Signs – IBC and IFC Compliant Signage For Commercial Buildings

There are numerous opinions on what constitutes the highest level of safety in commercial buildings. But the most authoritative safety manual for commercial and residential R1 buildings worldwide continues to be International Building Code (IBC) and International Fire Code (IFC) guidelines, which regulate buildings that have occupancy at above 75 feet from the lowest level of fire department vehicle access. The IBC, a version of which has been adopted by all 50 states, regulates the safety of new construction, while the IFC, a version of which has been adopted by at least 42 states, regulates the safety of both new construction and existing buildings.

As with previous editions of IBC and IFC guidelines, 2009 IBC and IFC guidelines place heavy emphasis on the importance of certain types of safety signage, particularly luminescent floor identification signs, which are mounted at each floor landing within vertical exit enclosures; luminescent emergency exit symbols, which are mounted on all exit leading doors within vertical exit enclosures and exit passageways; and luminescent exit signs, which offer several safety advantages that other exit signs don’t, such as greater durability, grater visibility through smoke, and greater reliability due to their electricity-free technology. Below, we discuss these signs in terms of IBC and IFC compliance.

Photoluminescent Floor Identification Signs

Luminescence is a quality required of most IBC signs and IFC signs, and floor identification signs are no exception. In addition to luminescence, IBC and IFC signs must possess the following characteristics: identification of the stair or ramp; numeric and Braille identification of floor level; identification of the terminus of the top and bottom of the exit enclosure; indication of the availability of roof access; and the identification of the story of and direction toward the building’s exit. In addition, the signs should be a minimum of size of 18 inches by 12 inches; have letters at least 1 A� inches in height indicating the stair or ramp; have letters at least 5 inches in height and located in the center of the sign indicating the floor level; have no other lettering that is less than 1 inch in height; have a non-glare finish; and have light characters against a dark background or vice versa.

Photoluminescent Emergency Exit Only Signs

Running man signs that are compliant with NFPA 170 are the emergency exit only signs required by the IBC and IFC. The signs should be at least 4 inches in height and centered horizontally on exit leading doors within vertical exit enclosures and exit passageways, with the top of the symbol being no higher than 18 inches above the finished floor.

Photoluminescent Exit Signs

Photoluminescent exit signs can be purchased in a variety of models, and should be mounted to indicate all building exits.