Lighting The Way To A Safe New Year With Photoluminescence

Happy New Year!

Now that it is 2019 it’s time to start fresh, and as a facility manager, you want to guarantee that your building and its occupants are safe in the event of an emergency. Unfortunately, winter is the peak season for heating-related structure fires due to the rise of indoor activities. Since colder temperatures result in longer operating time for heating, there is more opportunity for that equipment to cause a fire. And in the event of a fire, you want to make sure that your building is prepared. However, it is also important to make sure your occupants have an easy and safe evacuation route. That’s why photoluminescent egress markers and exit signs (PL) have been made a part of a buildings over all fire safety protection systems.

Photoluminescent egress path marking system and exit signs are used to help illuminate steps, landings, handrails and any other obstacles in smoky conditions. Dark and smoky hallways and stairwells seems to be where most accidents occur. Occupants may slip, trip and fall, or bump into something they can’t see in the dark or smoke. But PL allows a building to have continuous visual support up to 48 hours in black out or smoky condition. It requires no electricity, and produces sunlight or recycles existing electrical light. Therefore, PL doesn’t need to rely on any emergency backup system or maintenance in order to glow.

Both the 2009 International Building Code (IBC) and the International Fire Code (IFC) state, “luminous egress path markings that outline the exit path should be provided in buildings having floors that are located more than 75 feet above the lowest level of a fire department vehicle.” Otherwise, occupants on top floors may find it difficult to evacuate and become trapped.  As a reminder for the New Year, here is a list of other codes that require Photoluminescence.


  • NFPA 101 and 5000
  • California, Chapter 10
  • Connecticut, Section 1026
  • New York City Code
  • New York City Local Law 26
  • General Services Administration (GSA) for all Buildings

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