This White Paper is a discussion of the requirement for luminous (photoluminescent) egress pathway marking systems in the emergency stairwells of high-rise buildings as defined in the 2009 International Building Code and 2009 International Fire Code. The paper examines the logic and benefits of the code (and building codes in general); the definition of an egress pathway marking system; its purpose; components; performance standards; testing methodologies; considerations when evaluating compliant products; and the difference in photoluminescent technologies (novelty vs. safety). Also presented is a historical perspective on pathway marking systems in buildings: the first national mandate; New York, the first major U.S. city to adopt pathway markings in its building code; a voluntary installation that saved lives; and the 2009 IBC and IFC regulation. Included is expert testimony from James P. Colgate, executive architect with the New York City Department of Buildings who drafted New York and 2009 IBC/IFC codes.
This report is intended for fire and safety professionals, local code enforcement authorities, architects, building owners, building managers, building engineers, their professional staffs and other interested parties charged with protecting the lives of building occupants and visitors by reducing safety risks through code compliance.