December is full of festive celebrations, with many buildings decked in flickering lights and winter greens. It’s sure to make you feel warm and cozy inside. However, as much as holiday decorations help bring the spirit of the season to life at work, they also present fire risks that can quickly turn this wonderful time of year into a devastating one. Trying to deal with the holiday rush as well as making sure your building is fire prepared can feel like a never ending task. However, one system that is important to your buildings over all fire and life safety protection, but low maintenance, is Photoluminescent Egress Path Markers and Exit Signage (PL).
Photoluminescent egress path marking systems are used to create an outline of steps, landings, handrails and any other pathways to help guide people to safety through dark and smoky places during an emergency. Photoluminescent exit signs light up the closest and safest exit for people trying to evacuate. While PL egress path markers seem to fit the holidays with them glowing a bright green in the dark, they are so much more than that. So how exactly does photoluminescence work to help provide continuous light for building occupants?
Luminous simply means giving off light. Photoluminescence is light emission from any form of matter after the absorption of photons. So, when light is shined on a photoluminescent object, the photons from the light excite the phosphorous molecules. These molecules then slowly release energy that has been stored by re-emitting photons, and creating the recognizable green glow. Therefore, photoluminescent objects use sunlight, or recycle existing electrical light, to create a glow for continual visual light support.
This is important in the event of a fire, where hallways and stairwells can quickly fill with smoke and become very dark and hard to see. Since smoke rises, the photoluminescent marking along the floor can help guide people to a safe exit. Because of this, more buildings today are being required by building codes to have photoluminescent egress path marking systems and exit signs installed.
A photoluminescent prepared building increases the chance of its occupants surviving a fire emergency. So making sure your building is properly installed with photoluminescent egress path markers and exit sign is important to the safety of your building occupants – especially in high rise buildings.