Floor Identification Signs: Why are Placement and Design Compliance So Important?

Luminous floor identification signs offer critical information that is vital to egress safety within a building. These signs have specific requirements that have been defined by IBC and IFC regulations. Some pertain to the information included on the sign, while others cover colors and sizes of text used to convey floor level data to occupants. Floor safety signs help occupants identify what level they are currently on in an emergency and direct them through the evacuation route. These signs have been used in buildings for many years but the requirements they must meet are changed frequently. IBC and IFC policies state that these signs need to be luminous for better visibility. Previously many buildings used non-luminous signing. This signing is not visible in low light or when thick smoke exists. IFC compliant components make a buildings evacuation plan more reliable and keep occupants safe while locating a safe way out of the building.

Placement and Design Requirements for Floor Identification Signs

The information these signs contain is one reason why they are so very important to occupant safety. IBC and IFC codes demand that these signs contain the floor level number, exit enclosure boundaries, roof access points, the building story, and the direction of the exit. They also should inform the occupant of stairs and ramps. Safety signs and other IFC compliant components must be installed according to these guidelines to be a beneficial safety measure for building occupants. Identification signs for building floors should contain all of the above mentioned information to be compliant with set regulations. They must in place for every exit enclosure floor landing that connects at least three stories. Placement should be five feet above the landing area and be easily viewable by occupants when a door is both opened and closed.

Signs have additional requirements for easier identification by occupants. How the information is presented makes a big difference in their effectiveness. According to IBC and IFC regulations, signs can be no less than eighteen inches in height and twelve inches in width. Set height for lettering is one and a half inches. The identifying floor level number on this IFC compliant component should be a minimum of five inches and be centered in the sign. Additional lettering needs to be one inch or more in height. Backgrounds and lettering should not contrast in coloring and be in a finish that does not glare. For a building to meet exit enclosure marking regulations through the IBC and IFC, all signing and markings must be luminous.

Landing area identification signs are vital to informing occupants on how to find and access exits within the building. Evacuations bring about panic and compromised memory. Occupants may not remember how to find the exit during this time of confusion. Luminous floor symbols, exit signs, and path markings keep occupants focused and inform them of what they need to do to get out safely. These IBC and IFC compliant components have been proven to get occupants out in a timelier fashion without injury if placed appropriately. These components are fairly inexpensive to put in place and also protect building owners when a critical situation occurs.

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About Rob Jessup
Occupation President Jessup Manufacturing Company Skills Manufacturing, Custom Coating & Converting, Product Development, New Business Development, Sales Management
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