Keeping your emergency exit signs compliant is crucial to avoiding fines. With so many federal, state, and local requirements, how can you keep track of them all?
Keep reading to learn some of the most critical requirements for emergency exit lighting from OSHA and NFPA, along with a reminder of how to stay in compliance with local regulations.
Complying with the Requirements
If your emergency exit lights are to meet NFPA standards, OSHA regulations, and minimum local requirements, they must be up to code.
OSHA regulations include the following:
Exit Signs Have to Be Displayed
For your building to meet code, each exit sign must state “exit”. Further, the main strokes of the letters need to be at least three-quarters of an inch wide, and the letters need to be 6 inches high.
Signs Must Be Visible
Each sign in your facility must not be obstructed by anything else. They must be clearly visible to all of your building’s occupants.
Signs Can’t Be too High
As well as meeting OSHA regulations, your building must also meet NFPA standards. There is one ordinance which states that any sign bottoms are not to rise more than six feet eight inches above the top of the door.
Check your local codes
NFPA specifications are typically adopted by local governments when it comes to emergency exit lighting requirements. Despite this, they often add additional rules on top of those mandated by the NFPA. Ensure that you comply with the rules of your local municipality.
Make sure your signs are the right color
A red light does not always signify an exit, despite the popular belief. Green and orange are also acceptable colors for exit signs. Local governments and certain states have specific requirements regarding what color signs must be, and these requirements may change if another color is thought to be more effective. Check your state and local websites periodically to see if the color requirements have changed.
Perform Sign Testing & Maintenance
When an emergency occurs, your exit lights must be operating properly at all times so that the occupants of your building can get to safety as quickly as possible. The NPFA requires you to perform regular checks and maintenance to make sure that your signs remain in good working order. In accordance with the NFPA, you must test your exit signs once a month by pressing the test button for 30 seconds. Your sign will remain illuminated during that period if it is functioning correctly. You will need to make arrangements to have it serviced if this is not the case. While you test your signs, make sure there are no cracks in the casing, and get rid of any dust or debris that may have built up.
According to the NFPA, your emergency lights should also be tested every year for at least 90 minutes. The light on your sign will remain on for the entire runtime of the test if it’s equipped with a battery that meets NFPA standards.
The lights must also be checked annually by an emergency exit lighting expert to make sure the battery is still solid, the light fixtures are securely fastened, and the lights meet the standards set by OSHA and NFPA. They can also help you with the proper selection and installation of lights that meet all requirements and save lives if your lights need to be replaced or upgraded.
Interested in testing and maintaining the emergency exit lights in your building? Contact us today.