Printed from the blog of Lori Greene, AHC/CDC, CCPR, FDAI
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Jun 24 2015

WW: Exit Signs

Jeff Payton of Williams Electronics sent today’s Wordless Wednesday photo.  I’m the first to admit that I’m not an expert on exit signs.  If you ARE an expert on exit signs, can you explain the need for the high-level sign?  If only the door closer installer had taken as much pride in the installation as the conduit installer.  🙂

So Many Exit Signs

20 Responses to “WW: Exit Signs”

  1. Ramesh Kareliya, AHC says:

    Maybe it is big ware house and people can see the Exit Sign from far, even the warehouse is full of material.

  2. Joe Hendry says:

    I’m going to guess, but this this looks like a warehouse. They occasionally have cat walks or offices above the floor level of the facility. I believe that the high level sign would be a way finding indicator for those folks above the floor level to orient direction during a fire.

  3. Cda says:

    Trying to achieve the safest possible building !!!!

    Exit sign here exit sign everywhere

    At least they are trying

  4. Scott Sampson says:

    Higher exit sign would be covered by any accumulating smoke earlier, blocking view and rendering it useless after a while.

  5. Matt Ferguson says:

    High level sign could be for distance, but electrical code does not require it – at least not in any type of occupancy that I ever worked in. More likely scenario is that they needed it for the 2 head emergency light that is attached and they happened to have an exit/emergency light combo on hand (as opposed to a 2 head emergency light only) so that’s what they used. When power goes out, those lights turn on to light the path of egress. What I have NEVER seen is an exit sign placed down at the bottom of the door. I cannot come up with any logic on that one. Maybe they have Minions working there?!

  6. Joel Luper says:

    I’m interested in the low sign. Perhaps they are storing materials that will generate a considerable amount of smoke. I’ve experienced jurisdictions that would require a low sign in that instance.

  7. Leonard Bankester says:

    Political correctness at it’s maximum for height-challenged and height-enhanced individuals!

  8. Jack Ostergaard says:

    When I first saw the high sign I thought the electrician had installed it as it was shown on the plan (“you didn’t call for a height”) but I’m liking Matt’s idea about the emergency lights.
    FYI the low signs are coming – they can be seen while crawling in a smoke filled room. Expect to see this in future – stairwells, hotels, schools. Now they need to come up with a kick resistant model cause the standard above the door isn’t.

  9. Cda says:

    Can anyone make out what the yellow sign says on the door??

  10. Ken says:

    We teach our school children to crawl low through smoke and hope they take this with them the rest of their life

  11. Robert says:

    the signs look like they are correct in warehouse setting – in the USA – as the code for the lower signs or higher one is for the warehouse settings as storage in the areas are normal 12′ or more with product. the lower sign is part of the newer standard as stated smoke will cover signs so the lower one is when your on your knees racing for the exit. LSC (life safety code) is going there

  12. Gerald Austin says:

    I think this is an installation that probably is super well intentioned. It is indeed probably a large building, possibly a warehouse. They were trying to show someone distant from an exit the location of the exit with a lighted sign. Seems logical. To me this probably will fail in a fire situation because the sign is so close to the roof (or ceiling) above that it would probably be rapidly obscured since this is the first place I would expect obscuration by smoke. Signs are often place right above the point of exit to help identify the doorway that will get the people outside or into another fire compartment. To get people to this “exit” point, they probably should be using directional signs (exit signs with arrows) where people need to have directions about where to go next to get to the exit but they should be closer to people in my opinion. I have to give them an “A” though, they have three exit signs at probably every conceivable level to identify this exit, including close to the floor, something you seldom see in many buildings. I always reminded my staff that the codes should be considered minimum requirements – nothing says the owner or designer can’t do something over and above the code requirements ( I would add so long as it does not cause confusion).

  13. Sheldon says:

    Two words: Indominus Rex.

  14. Randy Stuhan says:

    I have seen exit signs placed near the floor in major corridors in hospitals throughout Muskegon, MI. For those crawling on their knees in a smoked filled hallway.

  15. Joel Niemi says:

    A possible scenario is that the electrical drawings showed one “above the door” and one near the floor level. Electrical drawings *might* have said “height per architectural drawings”; of course, since this was *just a warehouse* the architect didn’t have that piece of information on any drawing, so the mid-height, above door one, was added via change order.

  16. Joel Niemi says:

    The one at the ceiling was installed first. During a construction site visit, the owner’s representative saw it, had a few choice words for the architect and electrical engineer, and it was deemed less expensive to add the one above the door, than to take the other one down. Owner also pointedly told architect that the cost was coming out of the architect’s compensation.

    Just a guess. Been there or nearby, have heard similar things.

    My theory would hold water better if the conduit to the above-door light came up from the near-floor one …

  17. Lapointe says:

    If this is a mechanics garage, there could be pits, and flammable material.

    A employer has the responsibility “to use every possible precautions imaginable “. To protect employees from injury. They can be found criminally negligent and sent to prison if every imaginable precaution was taken. I believe this picture illustrates someone complying with that law.

    • Lapointe says:

      “Not taken”

      Also, employers need to follow minimum codes, but are asked to, develope a safety program that goes above & beyond code minimum requirements. Employers feel that, in the situation that a accident happens, they will not be found criminally negligent due to all of the above and beyond safety measures they have implemented.

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