Mechanical Room Exit Signs

Q: Is there a code that states every mechanical room needs an ‘Exit’ sign? I am being pressed to do so and I understand if the exit is obvious you don’t need a sign.

A: No… there is not. But section 7.10.1.5.1 of the 2012 LSC says access to exits shall be marked by approved signs in all cases where the exit or the way to reach the exit is not readily apparent to the occupants. So, one way this is interpreted, if you’re standing inside the mechanical room and the entrance door to the mechanical room (which also is an exit access) is not readily apparent, then you will need ‘Exit’ signs.

This is actually a very simple test that a surveyor can do while touring your facility… If the surveyor cannot see the entrance door when he/she stands anywhere in the mechanical room, then that is a clear indication the room needs to have the way to reach the exit marked. But if you can always see the entrance door, then one can say the way to reach the exit is readily apparent.

It is recommended that you use the internally illuminated ‘Exit’ signs connected to EM power, rather than trying to get by with externally illuminated signs.

Brad Keyes
Brad Keyes, CHSP

Brad is a former advisor to Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP) and former Joint Commission LS surveyor. He guides clients through  organizational assessment; management training; ongoing coaching of task groups; and extensive one-on-one coaching of facility leaders. He analyzes and develops leadership effectiveness and efficiency in work processes, focusing on assessing an organization’s preparedness for a survey, evaluating processes in achieving preparedness, and guiding organizations toward compliance. 

As a presenter at national seminars, regional conferences, and audio conferences, Brad teaches the Keyes Life Safety Boot Camp series to various groups and organizations. He is the author or co-author of many HCPro books, including the best-selling  Analyzing the Hospital Life Safety Survey, now in its 3rd edition. Brad has also authored a variety of articles in numerous publications addressing features of life safety and fire protection, as well as white papers and articles on the Building Maintenance Program. Currently serving as the contributing editor of the monthly HCPro newsletter Healthcare Life Safety Compliance  gives Brad further insight into the industry’s trends and best practices.