Applying Emergency Exit Symbols to Exit Leading Doors

In addition to requiring the application of luminous stripes to steps, landing areas, handrails, obstacles and exit leading doors within exit enclosures; the IBC and IFC require the placement of luminous floor identification signs, fire safety signs and emergency exit symbols within exit enclosures. These signs and symbols serve as critical guideposts for building occupants as they navigate a building’s emergency egress system. Emergency exit symbols should be applied in accordance with the following section of the IBC and IFC:

1024.2.6.1 Emergency Exit Symbol

Exit leading doors should be identified by a low-location luminous emergency exit symbol that complies with NFPA 170. In this case, an emergency exit symbol refers to a right facing running man or a left facing running man symbol. The symbol should be at least 4 inches in height and should be centered horizontally on the door, with the top of the symbol being no higher than 18 inches above the surface of the finished floor.

If your building has a well-rehearsed evacuation plan, you may think that building occupants will be able to remember the location of exit leading doors. But during emergency evacuations, most building occupants will not be in a state of mind where they can easily remember the location of exit leading doors, making it essential to identify these doors with emergency exit symbols. When mounting emergency exit symbols, remember to mount them consistently and uniformly throughout an exit enclosure in accordance with IBC and IFC section 1024.3.

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