Photoluminescent ‘Exit’ Signs

Q: Can illuminated ‘Exit’ signs be replaced with photoluminescent ‘Exit’ signs? If so, does this eliminate the requirement for monthly inspections of ‘Exit’ signs?

A: Photoluminescent ‘Exit’ signs are permitted, provided they meet the requirements of 7.10.7.2 of the 2012 Life Safety Code, which requires constant illumination from an external source while the building is occupied. Since the hospital is occupied 24-hours per day, then this means the source of illumination must be constant.

The source of illumination must be connected to emergency power for healthcare occupancies. You really don’t gain anything by using photoluminescent ‘Exit’ signs over traditional internally illuminated ‘Exit’ signs because section 7.10.9.1 requires all ‘Exit’ signs to be inspected monthly to ensure they still have a source of illumination.

I do not recommend using photoluminescent ‘Exit’ signs because they are greatly misunderstood and are typically installed in areas that are not compliant.

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