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Exit signs are signs, required by building and fire codes, that feature an illuminated version of the word “EXIT”. Exit signs help to ensure the safe exit of building patrons during emergencies such as fires and earthquakes. Exit signs are placed above doors and throughout a building’s interior hallways. Exit signs are mandated and regulated by local, state, and federal building codes. The placement of exit signs is specified by such codes. Exit signs are tested and certified for use by Underwriters Laboratories (UL). UL approved exit signs are code compliant throughout the United States and Canada.
Exit signs have been used for more than 60 years. The first generation of exit signs featured a metal housing with glass faceplate and an internally located incandescent light source. The glass faceplates had a translucent background with red EXIT letters. The single incandescent bulb inside first generation exit signs provided descent illumination while the second generation featured two bulbs for improved visibility. One flaw with early exit signs was that when electrical power was lost, a common effect of fires, the sign would shut off. This posed a safety problem for building occupants. Exit signs were improved again with the addition of battery backup systems. Battery backup systems provide operational power during emergencies where AC power is lost. The addition of battery backup systems significantly improved the effectiveness of exit signs.
Over time, the materials and technology used in exit signs have continued to evolve and improve. Thermoplastic has made exit signs more affordable and is now the most common housing material for exit signs. LEDs (light emitting diodes) are an energy efficient light source that has come to replace standard incandescent bulbs. Exitsigns.net LEDs use less than five watts electricity and last for 8 to 10 years, significantly reducing energy and maintenance costs while improving reliability. Additionally, technology has allowed the development of completely non-electrical exit signs. The first type of non-electrical exit sign, photoluminescent, uses glow-in-the-dark technology for illumination that lasts for 25 years. The second type, self-luminous, uses a glowing form of hydrogen to provide illumination that lasts for 10, 15, or 20 years.
Click here for our selection of LED exit signs.
Click here for our selection of non-electrical exit signs.
The evolution of the exit sign has improved efficiency and expanded the choices of architects, developers, and other end-users. Exitsigns.net manufactures numerous models of LED and non-electrical exit signs. All exitsigns.net exit signs are UL Listed and approved for use throughout North America.